Letter to the Editor: Aquatics Center Will Benefit Older Residents

In addition to benefiting residents with disabilities, supporters of the Long Bridge aquatics center say the facility will serve the needs of older residents.

Rising costs have led critics to push for the aquatics center to either be scaled back or scrapped altogether. In a letter to the editor, one Arlington resident says that an aquatics facility — even one downsized from the current plans — should still be built so those who can’t afford private aquatics facilities can enjoy the year-round fitness benefits of swimming.

Swimming is one of the few sports that people can continue well into their dotage. Yes, there is a need for the new facility because it offers pools that are warmer for both lessons and for older muscles that cramp in colder water. Providing active recreation that keeps joints functioning decreases the demand on other County facilities to care for elder clients.

Many older folks are long term residents of this county. For years we have paid for schools, park activities, and fields that we didn’t use with little complaint. It is our tax support that has created the County you now enjoy. Private year-round facilities are out of many retiree price range or do not offer activities that we can use.

It is not asking too much to afford older residents the opportunity to swim in a “subsidized” pool when they have paid and continue to pay County taxes with little other use of County facilities.

Too many younger, upwardly-mobile new residents of Arlington think of themselves and their desires with little concern for others in the County. They make the assumption that anyone who is not in their earning pool and who needs subsidy are the takers of society. Now where have we heard that mindset before? Hopefully, most residents of Arlington still believe in some form of economic equity that allows all county residents to enjoy the bounty of Arlington regardless of their income bracket. No one can tell when the advantaged become the ones who need assistance as many of us have experienced.

Yes, we need a new aquatic facility in Arlington, not a lavish facility, but one that offers all-day the capabilities to satisfy a wide array of ages and physical needs. Yes, building in Arlington is expensive but we can reassess construction needs and build with the funds already allotted. Yes, this facility did not come out of the blue nor was it designed in a vacuum. The public committee that has worked with County staff on the planning of this facility for over ten years has expressed their willingness to return to the planning process and produce yet another set of plans that have a better chance of meeting cost constraints. Let’s give them a chance to work with the County to produce a product that meets aesthetic as well as practical needs.

— Suzanne Bolton, Claremont

To submit a letter to the editor, please email it to [email protected] Letters to the editor may be edited for content and brevity.

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