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Algonquin Pool vandalism has deeper meaning, neighbors say

Published: Jun. 21, 2021 at 5:09 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 5:49 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Algonquin pool was vandalized once again Saturday, but neighbors told WAVE 3 News there is a clear reason why it continues to occur.

According to Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation, someone cut a hole in the fence at the Algonquin park, threw picnic tables and chairs into the water, and lit off firecrackers.

“They opened up the fence and took some chairs and did some really bad things,” Chanelle Helm, a longtime neighbor, said. “Well of course, what else do they have going on?”

According to Helm, there aren’t enough resources and programs available for kids in west Louisville. She wants to see upgrades made, starting with the pool, which she said looks the same as it did when she was a child.

“Being able to sympathize with what is happening here is because I grew up here,” Helm said. “I think anytime when we ignore folks who are disadvantaged or underfunded, we’re looking at a deeper systemic problem, and that’s exactly what’s happening here.”

Councilwoman Keisha Dorsey, who represents District 3, noticed the inequities among the city’s pools when the Algonquin pool shut down last Sunday due to a lifeguard shortage. She went to the Sun Valley and Fairdale pools and noticed amenities that Algonquin doesn’t have, like upgraded bathrooms and seating.

“We’re talking about a homicide rate, a crime rate that is through the roof,” Dorsey said. “One of my residents told me yesterday, ‘My kids finally have something to do,’ and in the middle of that, we choose to be inconsistent?”

Helm believes once upgrades are made to the pool and more resources are added throughout west Louisville, the vandalism will stop.

Kya Woodruff, 15, lives across the street from the park and often walks there to swim with her friends. Once she heard about Saturday’s vandalism, she was worried she’d have to find somewhere else to hang out.

“I was mad,” Woodruff said. “I thought they were going to close the pool, but they didn’t. They opened it right back up which I was very happy (about).”

Algonquin community members ask the public to email Mayor Greg Fischer to advocate for more funding for Algonquin Park.

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