After months of effort and debate, Toledo City Council unanimously voted to approve a $73,700 budget on Tuesday that will allow Wilson Pool to open along with four municipal pools already funded and scheduled to open, some as early as Saturday.
Toledo City Council President Paula Hicks-Hudson held a news conference to celebrate the completion of the repairs that threatened to keep Wilson Pool in North Toledo closed for the summer. With the help of Laborers Local 50 and Local 500 and the Toledo Buffalo Soldiers, the reparations were completed at only 25 percent of the originally estimated cost, said Mayor D. Michael Collins.
PHOTO GALLERY: City Pools presser
The money to open and operate Wilson Pool will be taken from the revenues recently received from a police vehicle auction, the mayor said.
Other aquatic facilities that will be open this summer are Navarre, Pickford, Roosevelt, and Willys pools, and the splash pad at Savage Park.
Concrete repairs also started this week to possibly make Jamie Farr Pool in North Toledo operational. Lisa Ward, Mayor Collins’ spokesman, said they hope to complete work on Jamie Farr Pool in the next four to five weeks. Assuming the work can be completed on time, the funds earmarked on Tuesday also could be used to open this other pool.
Mayor Collins took a strong stance when he brought up the new legislation forward on Tuesday.
“We’ve become more like Washington D.C. than this city deserves,” he said. “Let’s represent the citizens of the community and put politics aside.”
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He said the council and mayor’s office need to continue to work together.
Ms. Hicks-Hudson originally submitted legislation to use $41,698 of general fund money from the city’s electric aggregation program. She said the resolution to use funds from the police auction sales, agreed to by the mayor’s office and administration, is “only fitting and fair.” She said the pools will help reduce negative behaviors and assist the police by providing a place for children to go during hot summer days.
Council members offered thanks and appreciation to the volunteers and unions who helped to get Wilson Pool up and running and who continue to work on Jamie Farr Pool.
Mayor Collins said: “We hear a lot of negativity about Toledo because it’s a city of unions.”
However, he recognized the necessity of their assistance in getting these projects completed.
Contact Kathleen Ashcraft at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6050.