East Austin residents fight to keep two pools open

We are seeing first hand how our 10-1 Austin City Council is making a difference.

Two East Austin pools were said to be closed, now they are under review.

It was last week when we found out Metz Pool and Mabel Davis Pool would be closed.

Many of the residents here are outraged and have voiced their concerns.

Now they are being heard.

Signs read no trespassing, Metz Pool is closed for the season.

You can find the same thing at the Mabel Davis Pool.

"My main concern is because a lot of these kids' parents are working. This is where they come and have their activities here. Once you close this, they have no where to go," says David Perez, Outcry in the Barrio.

Many East Austin residents are fighting to stop this from happening.

It's slowly working.

"I applaud a lot of the team efforts that the city council, that the mayor is putting out. They were really instrumental in getting the city to understand that you need to work with these people. That's why we've got the support we are getting now," says Elisa Rendon Montoya, East Town Lake Citizens Neighborhood Association.

Since the closure announcement last Tuesday, the city has changed their stance.

Now they're looking into whether they can repair the pools.

"The repairs were already supposed to be done two years ago. There was money allocated to that area. Now we're finding out two weeks before that all this needs to be checked out, without notifying the community," says Montoya.

In regards to Metz Pool, there are leaks that need to be fixed.

It must continue to be filled with water otherwise, the walls would collapse due to old age.

District 3 City Council member Sabino "Pio" Renteria says if the pump is running and they are using all this water, then why close it?

"They're either going to do the repairs or else they're going to open the pool. Those are the two options that I gave them. I'd be very disappointed if they didn't do that," says Sabino "Pio" Renteria, District 3, Austin City Council.

Metz and Mabel Davis swimming pools leak approximately seven million gallons of water.

Parks and Rec says they need $41 million to get the city's 40 swimming pools into good shape.

Renteria says the answer isn't to close any pools, but to work with the community.

"We should have gone before the voters during a bond election and said, 'we need this much money to fix the pool, will you give us that money?' That's the process I'm going to be pushing now that I'm in the city council," says Renteria.

A good example of how the new 10-1 Austin City Council is trying to make a difference.

East Austin residents have planned a town hall meeting for this Thursday, May 7th at 6:30 at the Metz Recreation Center.

Contact Bertha Delgado for more information: 512-621-3502 or mariedelgado267@yahoo.com

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