Councilman Frustrated Over Demolition Of East Smithfield Pool

(Left to right) Town Councilman Marlon Lee and East Smithfield Improvement Organization President Tony Nixon outside the Eva Ennis Pool. 2016 File Photo

A pool East Smithfield residents have been asking the Town of Smithfield to reopen for several years will be demolished.

The Eva Ennis Pool at the Eva Ennis Park was closed following the summer of 2009 due to dwindling attendance and increased maintenance costs.

In July 2016, Town Manager Michael Scott held a meeting with East Smithfield residents to discuss the fate of the pool and recreational needs in the minority community.

At the time of the meeting, Scott said the pool was deemed not to be a good investment for the Town and was not reopened after the 2009 season.The Town has spent about $20,000 on lighting and insurance since it closed.

At the 2016 meeting, Scott called the pool a “pond with wildlife in it” and the restrooms “in disrepair and filled with wasps.”

2016 estimates to reopen the pool were projected at $340,000.  The cost would now be higher.

At the November monthly meeting, the town council awarded a bid to JP Edwards Inc. to demolish the pool and buildings at a price of $32,323.  JP Edwards was the low bidder for the project.

Town Councilman Marlon Lee, whose district includes East Smithfield, took to social media to express his frustration over the demolition. On his Facebook page Lee wrote, “It’s NO PROBLEM finding money to take away from the poor underserved kids of Smithfield. It’s always A PROBLEM FINDING MONEY TO HELP BRING THINGS TO HELP THE KIDS!! Splash park was supposed to be the replacement but if you ask the Town Mgr. & Parks And Recreation director “Oh its news to them”……  #Poolisbeingdemolished”