I find it disheartening that the state will spend $6M for Waltham to get a new pool, while we in Belmont (and Arlington) seem to struggle for everything. (Belmont is talking about $2M for our own pool, with our own money…) Rep Peter Koutoujian said “many families in Waltham do not own a summer home or have memberships to private clubs”, blah, blah. Well, that’s true of most of us in most towns. My family income is about in the middle for Belmont and I don’t have those things. Yes, I realize this is a free, MDC/DCR pool open to everyone.
Waltham has never had a prop tax override – they never need one with their tax base. I know you and other reps and senators have made some progress one the equity in the state aid formulas (like for chap 70), but it still seems every facet of state aide is still against us. Please keep up work in that area!
Reference the boston.com article today: http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/waltham/2010/10/state_pledges_6_mil_to_rebuild.html
To its credit, Belmont was one of the first communities to create a public pool, early in the last century. The DCR pool system came later — that’s why Belmont doesn’t have a DCR pool.
Most DCR pools have long been in very poor condition. Recently, with the 2008 bond bill money, there has been a round of updates. I was very pleased to win funds for the substantial renovation of the McCrehan DCR pool in North Cambridge, which is heavily used by the children in the tower apartments on Rindge Avenue. It is actually convenient to many Belmont residents too.
In general, DCR is trying to shed pools, not add them, because it just can’t keep them up, so there is no prospect of the state taking over Belmont’s pool.
We’ll keep plugging on the state aid issue! But the truth is that next year is going to be tight, especially if voters approve tax cuts on the November ballot.
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