There was a Google Street View of Public Bath No.2 here, but apparently that was causing some browsers to go a little kooky.
Albany's Public Bath No. 2 -- an indoor swimming pool in the South End -- has probably gotten more attention over the last few weeks than it's received in the last few years (or decades).
Funding for the pool was slated to be chopped because of a budget crunch, but the Common Council passed a budget amendment to restore the funding. That prompted Jerry Jennings to take the unusual step (as in, he's never done it before) of vetoing the amendment. And with a very reasonable rationale: "We're talking over $225,000 a year. And that's too much money to spend on a very small number of people that use it." [TU] [YNN]
Common Councilwoman Leah Golby -- who's been one of the most vocal supporters of the pool recently -- formally asked the mayor to rescind his veto today (well, technically yesterday). Her full memo is after the jump -- and she, too, makes a reasonable argument: basically that cutting the funding isn't affecting taxes, and the pool is a unique city asset in a neighborhood that's already lacking city amenities.
In the grand scheme of things, this pool isn't a huge issue. The money involved is a tiny slice of the city budget. And apparently there aren't that many people who currently use the pool. But this is the sort of issue that a lot of municipalities are facing as they look to cut wherever they can. Sure, it's not much money -- but it's something. And it all adds up eventually. But at what cost (financial, cultural, social or otherwise)?
There are going to be a lot more discussions like this all over the Capital Region during the next few years. And there's no easy answer.
Earlier on AOA: Public Bath No. 2 was named to Historic Albany's list of endangered buildings this week
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