Toledo officials and residents were reeling early Thursday over an announcement by Collins administration officials that there was no money to open pools this year, but the mayor soon after announced an alternative funding source -- seized drug money and revenue from seized property -- to fund summer aquatics fun.
“I have considered council's input on public recreation and specifically pools,” Mayor D. Michael Collins told The Blade. “I will review the budget from the the law enforcement trust, which are monies secured by police operations as a result of seizing property, cash, and other tangible items, and I will work with the Police Athletic League to incorporate the pools under its program.”
The pools' budget has been reduced to nothing in the past. During the Bell administration, council intervened and restored funding for pools.
The announcement Thursday by Collins administration officials that Toledo would not open public pools this year was met with consternation from councilmen and angst from residents who attended the lengthy meeting.
Hours after council's parks and recreation committee members blasted Mayor Collins for “zeroing out” pool funding.
The city's proposed parks and recreation budget overall is slashed in several other areas, including the city ice rink operations, cemetery upkeep, and the city's two boat launches.
The 2013 budget included $230,605 for pools and the city operated six pools and a splash pad at Savage Park in central Toledo.