CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Public pools typically offer residents some relief during the heat of summer, but those in Cranston will have to go without for the second consecutive year.
Budlong Pool remained closed last year amid the pandemic, but this year, Anthony Morretti, a spokesperson for Mayor Ken Hopkins, said that’s only part of the reason why it won’t be open.
Morretti said the pool costs the city anywhere between $100,000 and $125,000 to operate, and this year’s budget was completed before the state’s restrictions were lifted.
“The assumption going into this year, at that point, was presenting a budget that did not fund the opening of the pool this year also, so unfortunately, there is no funding for the pool,” he explained, adding that most of the funding for the pool is put toward staffing.
He said similar to last year, the city is worried about having large groups of people, especially children, gathered around the pool and bath house.
“You’re talking about a lot of young people and the concern is, young people aren’t vaccinated,” he said.
But those aren’t the only two reasons the pool will remain closed. Morretti said the city also has to reassess the pool’s condition, since it was closed all of last year.
Right now, Morretti said they’re trying to come up with alternatives. But until they do, there won’t be a public pool available for residents.
While residents won’t be able to go for a swim, Morretti said the city is providing other ways for people to keep cool during the hot and humid weather.
He said the city will be utilizing the Cranston Public Library and Cranston Senior Center as cooling centers this week.
Morretti said the city will eventually be constructing a splash pad at Stadium Elementary School. He did not provide a timeline for that project, but said they’ve solidified their design and are now getting quotes for pricing.