Cranston closes Budlong Pool for third summer in a row

CRANSTON, R.I. (WLNE) — One of the country’s largest outdoor pools will be closed for the summer.

The Budlong Pool, Cranston’s top spot to cool off, first closed in 2020 because of the pandemic. The following summer, the pool’s reopening wasn’t included in the city budget.

This year, Mayor Ken Hopkins’ chief of staff said the pool’s poor condition will keep it closed once again.

“It has become obsolete,” Chief of Staff Anthony Moretti said.

Moretti said the pool will remain closed this summer due to safety reasons.

“There’s breaches in the liner where water is draining out of the pool and to the point where a light individual or child could sink to the bottom of the pool and get stuck there. Improvements are going to be needed to open that pool,” Moretti said.

Improvements to the pool would cost $2.8 million.

However, Cranston City Councilor Aniece Germain, who represents the ward where the pool is located, said the need for repairs isn’t making sense.

“In 2019, the pool was operational, so in less than two years, the pool is in a condition that can’t serve the population? Something isn’t adding up here,” Germain said.

Germain added that the liner Moretti said was damaged was just bought in 2018.

“Somebody should’ve made sure the building code was in compliance, so someone didn’t do their job,” Germain said.

The mayor’s office is looking at federal grant money to renovate the pool or transform it into a splash pad.

No word on when those repairs will begin.

In the meantime, Moretti said the city is working toward letting residents use the indoor pool at Park View Middle School.

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