City of Toledo may not open pools this summer - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

City of Toledo may not open pools this summer

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Toledo children might not be able to swim at public pools in the city this summer.

Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Dennis Garvin told the division at a meeting Thursday that the city would not open any pools in the summer of 2014. The city opened several - but not all - of its pools last summer.

The 2014 $245 million general fund budget of Mayor D. Michael Collins does not include funding to open the six pools and one splash pad.

"I think it's a travesty. I think it puts our entire community at risk," said Linda Hendricks of east Toledo.

The announcement was made before a Toledo City Council Youth, Parks and Recreation Committee. Members are angry, and one said the city has a moral obligation to provide recreation to city kids.

"If we aren't addressing the recreational opportunities for the citizens in the City of Toledo, we will be doing a disservice to our community as a whole in the longrun," said Councilwoman Lindsay Webb.

The Collins administration would save $250,000 if it keeps the pools dry. In addition, it would take another $300,000 to bring the pools up to speed in order to be operational.

The administration says it prefers to focus taxpayer money on police and fire protection, as well as fixing city streets.

After the meeting, Mayor Collins said his office is looking into other funding options for the pools. He says he wants to take money for the pools from the law enforcement trust fund, which is money seized through drug investigations. The fund already pays for baseball and soccer fields. Collins says he doesn't think funding pools from the fund will be a problem.

Toledo Finance Director George Sarantou says there may be other sources out there to save the pools.

"I think all of us can do our best part in approaching the corporate community if they can help us, as well as the YMCAs of the world, and other nonprofit organizations, and see if money can be found to fund some of the public swimming pools," said Sarantou.

Also not opening: the Ottawa Park skating rink.

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