From the Times Ledger:
City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) said he was shocked to find out recently that the city Parks Department is planning to close down Fort Totten’s swimming pool as part of its 2011 fiscal year budget.
The agency said during a budgetary hearing last week that the fort’s pool would be one of four in the city to be shuttered. The councilman had been told several weeks ago that funding was in place for the site.
“I met with Parks weeks ago and there was no indication this was happening,” Halloran said. “This completely blindsided me. It’s the only open-air pool in eastern Queens.”
The pool had undergone upgrades, including resealing and landscaping, during the past two fiscal budget cycles. But it could close down as early as July 1 when the Parks Department’s new fiscal year begins, Halloran said.
“We just spent half a million dollars refurbishing this thing, so this is ludicrous,” he said. “It’s disingenuous they are doing this at the 11th hour. It was rehabilitated and allotted a whole lot of money.”
In a statement, Parks announced its plan to close the pool as well as shorten the swimming season for its other city pools by two weeks. The agency said the move would save the city $1.4 million.