Four city pools to close to save money

June 21, 2010 3:48:46 PM PDT
The kids and the adults who use the pool in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn just got the sad news recently.

It will be a long hot summer if they can't make to other pools. The Douglas and Degraw Pool will not be opening this summer.

"A lot of kids won't have a place to go this summer. It's a shame they're closing now. I don't know what they are supposed to do," Donnie Olmstead said.

Olmstead brought his kids and now his grandkids to this pool.

It's one of four that the city will not open in an effort to save 1.4 million dollars.

In addition to Douglas and Degraw, which drew more than 37,800 last year, the city is closing: Wagner, which drew 13,800 in Manhattan; Fort Totten, which drew nearly 27-thousand from Queens; and West Brighton, which drew nearly 22,500 on Staten Island.

Sue Wolfe, president of the Friends of Douglas Green Park, said people in this Brooklyn neighborhood have no other options.

"If they take this pool away from us this summer, there is no way for people, since the busses have been take away from us, to even get to the Red Hook pool. The busses don't go there now," Wolfe said.

The parks department said the decision was based on "...attendance figures, proximity to other pools, access to public transit and the location of the pools relative to residential communities."

Wolfe believes the pool compliments her groups' efforts to rehabilitate the park.

"The last three years they are very aware of it and the use it. There are programs that go on during the day for the kids and we just don't want it to go away," Wolfe said.