Drops in the budget bucket

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

Golby Amendment for Public Bath No. 2

Comments

In a time where every municipality and government entity is screaming for money, shouldn't we close a building that very few people use, is old and in need of repair? People would be screaming if this could only be used by the ruling class (thus got the same amount of use). Use that $200k and put more cops on the street in that neighborhood; I'm sure its residents will get more use out of them than a pool.

It's a shame. I never knew this place existed. Sounds like a great asset. I think the City would be better served by advertising these recreational opportunities. How do they expect people to use these resources if no one knows about them?

I disagree "A". Renovate the building and put in programming that will make the Bath a neighborhood asset people use and then you won't need more cops on the beat in the South End. You will end up saving money in the long run by improving the quality of life of residents in the South End. A safer South End, means people and businesses will want to move in. That translates to more tax revenue for the City and lower property taxes for homeowners.

I live within walking distance of the bath house. My 6yr old daughter uses the bath house weekly. She has a physical disability (CP) and swimming often helps her stay strong. Please keep the bath house open.
Also our first line of revenue in our city budget is residential property tax. The historic and available housing stock in our city is mostly located in the downtown. If the root of the problem is lack of money we should be doing everything possible to attract and retain taxpayers in the downtown.
Unfortunately we continue to see services cut and programs that serve downtown vanish. :-(
No matter where you live in Albany its clear with this years budget that we have a serious problem. We are all in it together, a strong downtown with walkable amenities and vibrant neighborhoods is the cornerstone of a successful city.

Cut, Cut, Cut as a strategy is just simply the wrong direction.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Breathing Lights project finale

The official wrap-up for the Breathing Lights public art project is set for April 7 at Proctors. Blurbage: Why spend a $1M on public art?... (more)

Drawing: Tickets for John Mayer at TU Center + a gift card for Ama Cocina

John Mayer is set to play the TU Center March 31. And we have a pair of tickets to give away. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE.... (more)

Public meeting for second phase of Madison Ave Road Diet in Albany

The second phase of the Madison Ave Road Diet in Albany is set to start later this year and the city has a public meeting... (more)

Brunch is back at The Low Beat with Celina's Kitchen

Celina Ottaway took a circuitous route to the kitchen, but it's paid off. The global influences of her life in business, journalism, and personal endeavors... (more)

Morning Blend

Abelove Less than a week after Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office seized the cellphone of Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove in an investigation into the... (more)

Recent Comments

For print resolution, not-for-profit Albany-specific historic images (photos. prints, paintings and advertising) Dave's best bet would be the Albany Institute's website. They have a collections database of thousands of images to choose from, and depending on the size, reproductions can be made in a price range of $15 to $55 dollars.

Drawing: Tickets for John Mayer at TU Center + a gift card for Ama Cocina

...has 22 comments, most recently from Pat

Public meeting for second phase of Madison Ave Road Diet in Albany

...has 3 comments, most recently from Jake

A few more details about the upcoming CDTA bike share

...has 2 comments, most recently from Blergh

Morning Blend for Mar 23

...has 1 comment, most recently from -B

Brunch is back at The Low Beat with Celina's Kitchen

...has 1 comment, most recently from Alison