There’s some good news and some bad news for the ongoing $103.7 million project to renovate the historic Belmont Plaza Pool in Long Beach, California.
The bad news is that the city has far less oil profit money with which to fund city improvements. According to The Long Beach Press-Telegram, the city of Long Beach has been budgeting its Tidelands Coastal Improvements projects based on oil selling at $100 a barrel for the past few years. Oil, though, has traded at only a percentage of that total, somewhere around $60 a barrel.
According to the Press-Telegram, that leaves the city significantly short of its proposed project funding needs:
“To put it in perspective, there is about $230 million-plus worth of projects over the next five years in need, and the city has identified approximately $95 million in funds available to fund those needs,” said Assistant City Manager Tom Modica.
That means the city had to prioritize this week on which of its proposed projects were most important to fund.
That’s where the good news comes in for the Belmont project, though. The pool replacement was placed at the top of the priority list that was approve by a 7-0 vote this week, the Press-Telegram reports.
Belmont is one of the most historic pools in the United States, having hosted multiple high-level club and NCAA meets, including the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1968 and 1976.
The old pool was declared seismically deficient and closed just over two years ago, and ever since, a plan has been in motion to rebuild the facility.
Those plans eventually took the form of a $103.7 million project that would feature an indoor 50-meter pool, an outdoor 50-meter pool, a separate diving well and seating for over 1,000 spectators.
The pool was originally slated to open in 2017, but the Press-Telegram reports that some residents are worried the pool rebuild is taking too long. It’s been two years since the old pool closed down, and construction has yet to start on the new facility. The Press-Telegram reports that the earliest construction could start is in about 18 months, which would be at the very beginning of 2017.