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Tuesday, July 29, 2014
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Published: Monday, 6/16/2014 - Updated: 1 month ago

Work to open pools complete

Despite efforts by volunteers, city may not cover operations

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Hicks-Hudson Hicks-Hudson
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Toledo City Council President Paula Hicks-Hudson plans to announce today that donated concrete and plumbing work is complete at two north-side city pools that were slated to stay closed this summer, but that doesn’t mean they will open.

Ms. Hicks-Hudson, the District 4 councilman, has been on a crusade to open the two pools this season since Mayor D. Michael Collins announced earlier this year that only four city pools and a splash pad would open.

Mayor Collins said he would decide this week if the city has the money to pay for lifeguards and chemicals needed to operate the newly repaired pools for the summer.

Ms. Hicks-Hudson said Laborers Local 500 and Local 50 of The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry provided materials and labor to get Wilson Pool, 3253 Otto St., and Jamie Farr Pool, 2200 Summit St., operational.

“The city also provided equipment and there was a third group called Toledo Buffalo Soldiers that did work and painted,” she said.

The councilman released a statement Monday calling it a success story of collaboration that required no public money.

Wilson and Jamie Farr pools had 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.

Mayor Collins praised the unions’ work on the pools.

“Their participation refutes many of the naysayers about their dedication to a community,” the mayor said.

Ms. Hicks-Hudson submitted legislation to use $41,698 of general fund money from the city’s “electric aggregation program” for the two pools, but city spokesman Lisa Ward said city attorneys refused to support that idea because using the money for that purpose may not be allowed.

Ms. Ward said the aquatic facilities that will be open this summer — Navarre, Pickford, Roosevelt, and Willys pools, and the splash pad at Savage park —could open Saturday.

The mayor originally released a 2014 budget with no money for pools. Council later approved spending $266,199 of general fund money in the 2014 budget to operate four pools and the splash pad.

Last year, the city opened pools at Roosevelt, Wilson, Navarre, Jamie Farr, Pickford, and Willys parks.

Contact Ignazio Messina at: imessina@theblade.com or 419-724-6171 or on Twitter @IgnazioMessina.



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