New Britain Mayor Timothy Stewart has announced that funding will be made available to open two of New Britain’s swimming pools as well as the splashpad at Willow Street Park. All of New Britain’s pools were slated to remain closed this summer due to city budget cuts.
“I, like many in our community, was concerned about the consequences, particularly to our youngest residents, if there were no pools open for a recreational outlet this summer,” Stewart said. “With the continued stagnant economy, so many in our City have no other way to beat the heat, and the reality is that many kids could get into trouble or get hurt by mischief such as illegally opening up fire hydrants.”
Stewart continued, that “despite the continued budget crisis, I am ordering that Willow Brook and A.W. Stanley Park pools as well as the Willow Street Park splashpad open on June 24 after New Britain public schools close for the summer. Delaying the opening until then will achieve some savings, and the remainder of the costs will be covered by an anticipated surplus at the end of this fiscal year (June 30).”
Stewart also announced that the annual Fourth of July fireworks and “Great American Boom” event will not be held this year due to budget constraints.
“While this event has long been a tradition that many both inside and outside of New Britain look forward to each year, we cannot in good conscience hold a discretionary event that costs the City close to $50,000 for fireworks and overtime while it is still possible employees will lose jobs and more essential city services will suffer,” said Stewart. “I am sure that when our budget situation and the economy improve, the Great American Boom will be back in New Britain.”
Pools will be open in the morning for swim lessons, with the afternoon for recreational swim (1-4:45 p.m.) and evening hours (6:15 – 7:45 p.m.) for family swim. Splashpad will be open 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. AW Stanley Pool is expected to be delayed for rehabilitation work. An exact date cannot be given at this time. Interested individuals can call the Parks and Recreation Department at 860-826-3360 for updates to the AW pool opening status starting next Wednesday June 15th.