Wichita City Council has voted to put off a decision on where to put a new swimming pool in the northeast part of the city
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita City Council has voted to delay a decision on where to put a new swimming pool in the northeast part of the city.
The Wichita Eagle reports the delay came after a recent three-hour debate. Dozens of residents spoke in support of putting the pool in McAdams Park over Edgemoor Park.
Resident Armando Minjarez said at the meeting that he believes the McAdams neighborhood has been neglected due to decades of racism.
“This is really about the legacy of systemic policies and actions against people of color in Wichita,” alleged Minjarez.
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Tye McEwen agreed with Minjarez, saying she also thinks race is a factor in the council’s hesitation to put the pool in the McAdams neighborhood.
“Let’s keep it honest, it’s because it’s for black people,” McEwen said.
But Mayor Jeff Longwell said he recommends postponing the decision indefinitely because he’s not “ready to support yet.”
“We’re in worse financial shape today than we were two years ago … I’m not willing to take a $4 million gamble,” he said.
Council member Brandon Johnson, who recommends choosing the McAdams Park, said delaying the vote won’t change the outcome.
“The community is still going to want the water park in McAdams,” Johnson said. “I think that the information we have right now currently supports McAdams.”
More than 40 percent of McAdams neighborhood residents live below the poverty line, according to the newspaper.
Wichita closed the McAdams pool early last year and plans to close five other public pools by 2023. The Edgemoor pool closed several years ago due to of structural problems.
Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com