EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — There will be another hot summer in East St. Louis, but residents won’t be able to take a dive in the community’s public swimming pool, which has been closed for seven years.

The money to fix the pool has been in the state budget, but bureaucratic wrangling prevented the city from getting it. It would have cost about $1.5 million to fix the pool back in 2014 when then Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn approved it. But now the cost will be closer to $3 million or more.

FOX 2’s Elliott Davis talked to Keith Baker, who remembers better times.

“When we were growing up, it was all activities. It was a basketball court. We had softball. We had the swimming pool, working water fountain, all that. But now we don’t have any activities out here in Lincoln Park. We need to get that restructuring out here in our community.

Jacson Baker said the community is paying the price for the current lack of activities.

“So then, when the violence picks up, you can’t blame anybody but ourselves because the kids don’t have nowhere to go,” said Baker. “I mean this is what we got right here. What you see is what you got. I mean it’s time for a change.”

Mayor Robert Eastern is one of those positive about the future. Current Gov. JB Pritzker has put $3 million in the current budget for the East St Louis swimming pool. The money still has to go through bureaucratic channels.

It’s estimated to take two years before the pool is finished by about 2024. When questioned about how long it might take to revive the pool, Eastern responded:

The mayor also shared his disappointment in the pool being closed for so long.

“Well, you know, that’s disheartening because, for seven years, the kids haven’t been able to come play in the pool and do those things and exercise and socialize.

He said it’s going to be a while, but he’s confident the pool will get fixed.