With a $12 million short fall, the City and Borough of Juneau Finance Committee is tasked with some tough decisions. While there are many pressing needs competing for our city’s dollars, targeting the Augustus Brown Swimming Pool to shoulder a disproportionate burden of the budget reduction is a short-sighted solution.
The Augustus Brown pool is one of the most democratic opportunities for promoting physical and mental health that CBJ has to offer in the downtown neighborhood. Take a look at the patrons who benefit from its services and you’ll witness a cross section of our community in all stages of life from infants to elders. It’s a place where folks with a range of abilities and disabilities can share and enjoy a common social, recreational and therapeutic outlet. Not a lot of fancy or expensive gear is required: all one needs is a swimsuit and a couple of bucks to get in. And when winter darkness or seasonal storms discourage exercise outdoors, the pool is always a welcome option.
As a local recreation center, the Augustus Brown pool contributes to the vitality of the downtown neighborhood. The movement to revitalize the Willoughby District and encourage increased opportunities for living as well as working downtown is gathering steam. “Mothballing” the pool runs counter to the goal of maintaining the character and quality of residential living in this part of Juneau. Protect this valuable long-term investment in the health and well being of Juneau. Let’s keep the Augustus Brown pool open.
If you are one of those people who have directly or indirectly benefited from Augustus Brown pool, please let your voice be heard. “Tell it to city hall” using the link at http://www.juneau.org/tellittcityhall/tellit.php; mail your comments to the City Manager’s Office, City & Borough of Juneau, 155 South Seward St., Juneau, Alaska 99801; or attend the Assembly meeting in person for the presentation of the balanced budget proposals on Monday, April 28.