Toledo City Council's parks and recreation committee learned today that three municipal pools need major repairs, including Jamie Farr and Wilson pools in the North End.
According to information given to the committee, the two North-End pools and Navarre Pool in East Toledo may each need about $50,000 in repair work to have the facilities ready for summer aquatics activities.
Wilson Pool at 3253 Otto St. near Stickney and Central avenues, and Jamie Farr Pool, 2200 Summit St., have numerous leaks in pipes and fittings used in the skimming and water-filtration systems, causing the pools to lose large amounts of water, according to the report by Northwest Pools Inc. of Toledo, which was hired by the city to inspect the pools.
Navarre Pool, 1001 White St., the only pool on the East Side, was deemed to be in better shape than the two North-End pools, and Northwest Pools estimated that the $50,000 in repairs could wait for another year, the report said.
The Collins administration plans to open four of the city's six public pools and the splash pad at Savage Park, City Park and Nebraska avenues, for the summer recreation program.
Mayor D. Michael Collins had initially proposed funding the pools with seized drug money and revenue from the law enforcement trust fund.
After the administration determine using the funds was inappropriate for such use, Mayor Collins decided to take $254,383 out of police uniform budget to pay for the pools, and replace the money with funds from the law enforcement trust.
The other public pools are Pickford, 3000 Medford Dr. in South Toledo, Roosevelt, in Central Toledo's Smith Park, and Willys Park, 1375 Hillcrest Ave., in West Toledo.
The pools and splash park are slated to be open for six weeks from late June to early August.
Councilman Larry Sykes suggested that the administration get creative in finding additional revenue to operate the pools, including a surcharge on the green fees at the city-owned golf courses or increasing grave fees at city cemeteries and using the additional revenue for the pools.
"We must maintain what we offer to our citizens, especially for the summer," Mr. Sykes said. "We are opening golf courses and closing pools."
Councilman Matt Cherry said that concrete, plumbing, and repair work at Wilson Pool could be accomplished with little cost to the city by asking the local skilled trade unions to volunteer labor and services and having the city pick up the costs for materials.
"We may need very little help from the city to do the construction work on this project," he said.
Kevin McCarthy, administrator of facility and fleet operations, said that despite the unexpected costs for pool repairs the city will open the splash park and four pools.
He said the idea of using the trade unions and volunteer labor suggested by Councilman Cherry could supplement the mayor's funding plan of using money from the police uniform budget to maintain and operate the pools.
"I don't think opening both pools in the North End will be possible," he said. "But if we work with the trade unions and volunteers, opening one pool has potential."
Contact Mark Reiter at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6199.
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