IfWe Build It, They Will Come
Years ago when Chuck was our congressman, he promised to build a pool for the peninsula residents in the Riis park area. A pool committee was formed, made up of all the usual customers (myself included), and meetings were held, and held, and held. Then along came our new Congressman Anthony and we still had meetings re: the pool, and meetings and meetings. As you can tell, our meetings were one big waste of time. During one of these meetings I actually mentioned that they were looking for a site to build a minor league ball field, mentioned Rockaway as a potential site and was laughed out of the room. Well look what happened in Coney Island. With that said, I have another interesting proposal. Is it impossible? You tell me. I wasted years on our political pool committee, and I would be willing to waste some more on a local one.
With so many residents from Breezy Point to Rockaway Beach leaving our peninsula to swim elsewhere (Long Beach, Starrett City, etc,), it seems like such a good idea to have our own pool. A pool that could be utilized by some of our local high schools, St. Edmund's, Stella Maris, Beach Channel, etc. We also have quite a few CYO programs, St. Thomas, St Francis, and some teams from Brooklyn.
It is always easier to sit back and let someone do it for you, but then it will not get done. Where would we build this pool and who is going to pay for it? My ideal location is the easternmost section of the Riis Park Parking lot. This section has not been used in twenty years. It is a constant money loser for the Feds. I was told that you can not build a for-profit business on government property. If this is true what is Aviator? The rumor is that Aviator is in trouble financially, so the government ends up with fields and an ice rink. Where is the downside of that deal?
How do we pay for this pool? This is the million dollar question. On a peninsula chock full of builders, lawyers, bankers, insurance experts, financial planners, and money, putting a serious pool committee together should not be that hard. Is it impossible? Who knows, but it's worth a sit down, don't you think.
Let them Arverne By The Sea build their small little Y. The possibilities are endless with our own pool, lifeguard training, first aid training, concession stand, a possible gym included, swim lessons and teams. I have talked to quite a few people in the mix from each neighborhood, nobody has laughed at me yet. I have been told financing would be impossible, but nobody has said "no" yet. Remember, if we build it, they will come.