Neighbors pitch in to maintain swim hours at pools

For a second consecutive summer, Sacramento residents are dealing with limited hours at local swimming pools. But the situation could get a lot worse next summer, when the city is planning to close seven pools.

Community groups are already brainstorming ways to keep their neighborhood swimming pools open in 2011. To counter a $43 million budget gap in June, city leaders made numerous cuts to city departments and services, including the rollback of pool services next summer.

Pools also received cuts last year. Residents must work around the city’s tight schedules for recreational swimming. At many pools, recreational swimming is only available for only two hours at a time, Mitchell said.

But there is hope for the pools. They could remain open if the city receives adequate financial contributions, according to Dave Mitchell, operations manager for the Parks and Recreation Department. Even though the city has planned to close pools, “we have a year now to try to find additional funding,” Mitchell said.

But the costs to keep them open are steep. The city needs $85,000 per pool from outside donors to keep them open next summer. With seven pools scheduled for closure, that means the city needs a total of $595,000, according to Mitchell.

In addition to contributing to keep the pools open next year, some neighbors are working to maintain swimming hours.

The River Park Neighborhood Association intends to spend about $15,000 this year to maintain hours of swim time at Glenn Hall Pool, said association member Jeff Harris. The association has raised large sums for Glenn Hall, Harris said.

The seven pools scheduled to close next summer are Glenn Hall Pool on Sandburg Drive; Natomas High School Pool on Fong Ranch Road; Cabrillo Pool & Wading Pool on 65th Avenue; Mangan Pool on 34th Avenue; Southside Pool & Wading Pool on 6th and U streets; Oki Pool & Wading Pool on Wisseman Drive; Tahoe Pool and Training Pool on 59th Street.

The city will keep six pools open: Pannell Meadowview Recreational Pool and Wading Pool on Meadowview Road; Clunie Pool and Wading Pool on Alhambra Blvd; Doyle Pool and Wading Pool in Northgate Park; McClatchy Park Pool and Wading Pool on 35th Street; Sim Pool and Wading Pool on Logan Street; and Johnston Pool and Wading Pool on Eleanor Avenue.

Here is information about hours and services for some of the city’s pools:

Clunie Pool:
Recreational swimming: 2-4 p.m. Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday/ Friday, and 1-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Glenn Hall:
Recreational swimming: 3-5 p.m. Monday/Wednesday/Friday and 1-5pm Sundays
No recreational swimming Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Natomas High School Pool:
No recreational swimming. The following services are available as scheduled: swim lessons, swim team and Jr. Lifeguard Academy

Southside Park Pool:
Recreational swimming: 2-4 p.m. Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday
No recreational swimming on Thursdays.

Tahoe Pool:
Recreational swimming: 2-4 p.m. Monday/Wednesday/Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday
No recreational swimming on Tuesdays.

Source: City of Sacramento

HOW TO DONATE

Parks and Recreation Operations Manager Dave Mitchell can make arrangements to help neighborhood associations and other groups donate to city pools. To learn how to donate to local pools, contact Mitchell at dmitchell@cityofsacramento.org

The photos show the recreational swim hours at Clunie Pool and a wading pool at Southside Park.

Kathleen Haley is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press.

Conversation Express your views, debate, and be heard with those in your area closest to the issue. RSS Feed

July 15, 2010 | 9:10 AM

I am happy to see that people in the communities are working together to try and keep our pools open. It seems that our city pools are already getting crowded and I think that having less pools in 2011 will make our pools even more crowded. I hope that the city finds a way to fix this problem.

July 15, 2010 | 5:57 PM

Thank you Ronald Reagan!!

August 4, 2010 | 7:16 PM

We began fundraising last August when pool hours were reduced and the bathrooms were closed. A friend and I contacted Councilman Cohn and met with the city’s Park and Recreation department to figure out how to meet our community’s needs and keep our pool and bathroom fully functional. Enough community members around the city voiced concern about the bathrooms that the bathrooms were reopened. So we were then able to focus our efforts on the pool. Since last August we have held fundraisers at Big Spoon yogurt, Giovanni’s Pizzeria, we have held a car wash, a yard sale and worked at the East Sac Remodeled Home Tour. We have educated our community by creating an e-mail list, posting signs at the park and chatting up our friends, neighbors and moms at the park. We have attended Neighborhood Association meetings as well. Our efforts have paid off and for this year we are meeting our goal of maintaining the pool hours seven days a week, four hours a day. The pool hours are M-F 12-4 and Sat/Sun 1-5. The city has budgeted for two hours a day six days a week and we are paying for the remainder. Next year the figures are looking like the city will not be able to fund any of the pool hours which will leave us needing to fund the entire $5000.00. We will have some money that will roll over into next year, but we are continuing to raise money in anticipation of these cut backs. Our money is all being handled through the city’s Gifts to Share program, a non-profit that helps raise funds for Park and Recreation programs. By donating money this way it is tax deductible and people can pay by check or on-line.
FRIENDS OF BERTHA HENSCHEL PARK

Send your tax-deductible donation (Tax ID # 94-29285546) to:

Gifts to Share, Inc.

915 I Street, 5th Floor

Sacramento, CA 95814

Please write “Bertha Henschel” in the memo line

Or donate on-line http://www.giftstoshare.org by clicking on their “Donate Now” link and then designating Bertha Henschel Pool in the “Program Designation” tab.

Thank you for your support!!

Questions? E-mail us at BerthaHenschel@gmail.com

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