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The conversion of the Martin Luther King Jr. Park wading pool into a fishing pond will be halted for now.

Masten Council Member Byron W. Brown disclosed before the Council's Community Development Committee Thursday that he has obtained the mayor's support to halt construction of a fishing pond on the base of the old wading pool in the park, pending community meetings and a consensus. "Whatever option we decide on, the pool foundation has to be rebuilt," said Brown.

So construction of the foundation wall around the pool will continue unabated, he said. Some residents living near the park oppose the conversion to a fishing pond.

At a meeting held a week ago in the Buffalo Museum of Science, opponents expressed concerns that the pond would not be well maintained and would breed mosquitoes and odors from dead fish. Many expressed a desire to see the wading pool restored.

However, Brown said restoring the pool would cost much more than the $1.4 million budgeted for the pool conversion.

"We're to have several more community meetings where we plan to invite representatives from the State Office of Historic Preservation to come in and clarify the available options for renovating the pool," Brown said.

In addition, he said, there are plans for a communitywide vote to get a more accurate view of where residents in communities surrounding Martin Luther King Jr. Park stand on the proposed options.

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