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Plans to Fix-Up Kittrell Pool Please White Plains

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Even though Renee Sidney, 43, is not a big swimmer, she said the city was "definitely" making a wise investment by applying for a $400,000 state grant to help fund reconstruction of the Kittrell Pool in her Fisher Hill neighborhood.

"A lot of the kids in the Lexington area and up here come to the pool. It's very popular," Sidney said while walking her dog near Kittrell Park. "There's always kids at the park playing basketball or skateboarding."

The Common Council unanimously voted to submit a $400,000 grant application to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Wednesday night. Deputy Planning Commissioner Linda Puoplo said the state agency had just revised its grant application process so the city is unsure exactly how long the review process will take.

"We’re keeping our fingers crossed that we’re going to hear by the end of the year, by Dec 31," said Puoplo.

Although the Kittrell Pool renovation plans have been included in the city's capital projects paperwork, the reconstruction is still in "a very preliminary stage," according to Puoplo, who said White Plains is still working out the pool's new design and budget.

"It’s had its lifetime and it's time for it to be brought up to speed," she said.

Other park users, including Brandon Abney, 16, of White Plains, and Alberto Arizmendi, 16, of West Harrison, said they would like to see a skateboarding park included in the remodeling plans.

"The pool is kind of looking bad, so it could use some money," said Abney, who said he stopped using the pool years ago. "They should definitely make a skate park here. They're already here skating. Even in the winter, as long as you can see the floor, they'll skate."

The state grant program typically requires municipalities to match 50 percent of the state funding, however, since 10 percent or more of the area surrounding Kittrell Park is at the poverty level, White Plains only has to match 25 percent of the grant.

The council voted to submit a second $400,000 grant for a Veteran's Memorial Park that qualify for the same state-city financing ratio Wednesday night.

What are your thoughts on the Veteran's Memorial Park and Kittrell Pool renovation projects? Join the conversation below.

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