Councilors plan hearing on Clougherty Pool closure

 Special to The Patriot Bridge

Boston City Councilor-At-Large Julia Mejia, Councilor Gabriela Coletta, Councilor-At-Large Ruthzee Louijeune have identified Wednesday, October 12 at 5 pm as the date for the hearing on Clougherty Pool closure in Charlestown to be held in the Government Accountability and Transparency Committee. 

 “The Clougherty pool is a beloved anchor space for the people of Charlestown and serves a broad range of families in this community, especially those living in the Bunker Hill Boston Housing Authority development,” said Councilor Coletta. “Given that Boston just recorded its hottest 30-day stretch in history with six days in a row of 90-degree weather, finding solutions and resources to open up this iconic pool is paramount. I look forward to working with the Wu administration to ensure we are moving forward so that the Clougherty pool is ready for use for generations to come.”

 Councilors Coletta, Mejia, and Luoijeune seek to bring transparency to the Charlestown community on what led to the maintenance decisions of the Clougherty pool, as well as to move forward in partnership with the Wu Administration and Boston Centers for Youth and Families to secure short and long-term systemic solutions. 

 “The Clougherty pool has served the Charlestown community since 1949, a tradition that must continue” said Councilor Mejia. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the council, community leaders, and residents to identify solutions that both restores the pool and faith in government.”

The Councilors understand the vitality of public pools in our communities, and continue to work diligently with all necessary departments to address the matter. 

 “Throughout the entire city of Boston, swimming pools provide community spaces for children, families, and neighbors alike. It is essential that as a city, we are working to repair and reopen the Clougherty pool to ensure that the residents that have enjoyed it for years are able to continue to use it. We also have a responsibility to be as transparent as possible with residents in regard to planning and timeline. I am looking forward to working with my colleagues both on the Council and in the Mayor’s office to ensure that we are taking the necessary steps to ensure this community staple is restored.” said Councilor Louijeune.

 Additionally, the Councilors have taken the necessary steps to work with the Charlestown community and to ensure their engagement and collaboration on this effort.

 A statement from the Friend of the Clougherty Pool states, “Ever since BCYF closed the Clougherty Pool in June we have worked to advocate for its immediate repair and reopening, and for the city to answer questions about its deteriorated and unsafe condition and decades-long mismanagement, which resulted in inequities for Charlestown’s hard-working families, youth, and seniors during the hottest summer on record.  We urge our city and state government officials to exhaust all options to secure funding from emergency sources, the George White Fund, and mitigation funds from Encore, which we have yet to see come to Charlestown. Our expectation is for the city to begin active repairs on the existing pool in 2022 with a clear action plan to reopen in June 2023, and develop a long-term plan with the community so that Charlestown can access a safe, working, and reliable outdoor pool for the next 70 years.”

 Highlights of the Order Include:

“WHEREAS, According to the Boston Center for Youth and Families The last time this pool was overhauled was in 1988 and the 20-year filtration system installed that same year had long-since expired; and

WHEREAS, Though 2.7 million dollars were first allocated in the City’s 2014 Capital Budget towards the Clougherty Pool for the rehabilitation of the pool’s bathhouse, its two pool shells, exterior pool deck, and mechanical systems, it is unclear how those funds were used to improve the Clougherty Pool since then; and

WHEREAS, The Boston City Council has an obligation to ensure accountability, transparency, accessibility, over public community centers such as the Clougherty Pool, especially in regards to spending, safety, and community needs…”

The Boston City Council will hold a hearing on Wednesday, October 12 at 5 pm at the Knights of Columbus, 545 Medford St. in Charlestown. This hearing will be held under the Government Accountability and Transparency Committee, chaired by Councilor Mejia where Boston Centers for Youth and Families will be invited to testify. Members of the public are encouraged to provide written or oral comments. 

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