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Published: Wednesday, 4/27/2011

City of Toledo plans to open 5 pools, Splash Pad

2 councilmen upset districts not included

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Madison Theis, right, splashes around the water with friend Kelsey Reece, left, while spending the afternoon at Pickford Pool last July. Madison Theis, right, splashes around the water with friend Kelsey Reece, left, while spending the afternoon at Pickford Pool last July.
THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT Enlarge | Buy This Photo

The Bell administration announced Tuesday it would open the splash pad at Savage Park and five city pools, but the plan drew some pointed questions from two district councilmen who represent neighborhoods in central Toledo and the Old West End.

"If this stays the way it is, I will vote no," Council President Wilma Brown said.

Council Tuesday reviewed a plan to operate swimming pools at Wilson, Navarre, Jamie Farr, Pickford, and Willys parks and Savage Splash Pad by spending $132,000 from the Toledo Athletic Commission Trust Fund.

The trust fund, which is replenished by athletic fees, has about $233,000.

Ms. Brown and Councilman Paula Hicks-Hudson questioned why Roosevelt Park pool would not be opened to give central city children a chance to swim.

Toledo Deputy Mayor of Operations Steve Herwat said the city selected the five pools -- which were the same that were open last year -- because they are the facilities able to be made operational in time.

The other pools won't open again this summer because they need too many repairs, he said.

Two of the pools -- Detwiler Park and Roosevelt Park -- were rendered unusable last year because thieves broke in and stole plumbing fixtures.

The cost to get Roosevelt operational would exceed $100,000, Mr. Herwat said. Detwiler is the city's largest and newest public pool.

Kattie Bond, the city's director of neighborhoods, said the five pools would be open by June 17, and that the city would charge $1 admission for children under age 12 and $2 for those 13 and older.

Last year, when the city first charged for pool use, the the charged at Pickford was $1. Admission at Willys was $1 for children under age 12 and $2 for those 13 and older. The other facilities were free.

Children under 8 years of age must be accompanied by an adult at all aquatic facilities, she said.

Willys Park, 1375 Hillcrest Ave., is in the west end of Toledo; Jamie Farr, 2200 Summit St., is in the north end; Pickford, 3000 Medford Drive, is in South Toledo; Wilson, 3252 Otto St., is near Stickney and East Central avenues, and Navarre, 1001 White St., is on the east side. The Savage Splash Pad is at 645 Vance St., off Nebraska Avenue.

Also Tuesday, council reviewed the administration's tentative revenue-sharing agreement with Monroe County. Council had authorized a new 20-year water agreement with the county.

Under it, as long as Toledo supplies surplus water to the Michigan South County Water District, the Monroe County Drain Commissioner will make annual payments to Toledo's general fund.

It will pay "50 percent of the new general local property taxes generated and actually received by the municipalities involved with the water district that Bedford Township, Erie Township, LaSalle Township, and Luna Pier," the legislation said.

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



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