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:
Recreational swimming: 2-4 p.m. Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday/ Friday, and 1-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.