City pools may have a PAL - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

City pools may have a PAL

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There may be new life to city pools, this summer.

Last week, the Collins administration announced pools would not open.  But now there appears to be a real chance they could open, after all.

Finding a way to open city pools would be a complete backflip from what the Collins administration proposed just a few days ago.

Under a plan being considered by the Collins Administration, city pools could open, this summer, with money from a law enforcement trust fund and operations would be outsourced to the Police Athletic League.
Under a plan being considered by the Collins Administration, city pools could open, this summer, with money from a law enforcement trust fund and operations would be outsourced to the Police Athletic League.

Council was told the city cannot afford to open the pools, and while that's still true, Mayor D. Michael Collins (I) seems committed to making it happen.

This morning he told 13abc reporter, Bill Hormann,  "We've inherited a situation and we're trying to solve it given our limited resources."

The zero-funding for pools was a holdover from the Bell budget plan.

But now Mayor Collins is looking at a way to use money from a law enforcement trust fund to reopen the pools.

Those funds get money from the sale of seized drug assets.  That money could  be used to hire lifeguards and buy chemicals for the pool.

But Collins says, that is all the money could buy. "We can't buy a pump, we can't repair a pool because that's capital and within the guidelines of the trust, that's not available to us," he said.

So with the funding available, Collins would then turn operations of the pool over to the police athletic league.

"Anything to try to ensure that we have good solid activities for families this summer."

Councilman Rob Ludeman (R) is also on the board of the police athletic league.

He says the PAL would probably be receptive to the idea of running the city's pools but, he says, the league doesn't have the money to make repairs.

Ludeman says, "We'd have to become creative again on the capital side of the budget."

That could mean charging a little more for admission or cutting some other part of the budget in order to make a splash with kids this summer.

It could cost Toledo $230,000 to open its pools.  But if a piece of equipment-- or some repair-- is needed, there may not be money for that.

Two pools need repair and they would not open this year.

But perhaps four pools could open.

And using the trust fund for money-- and the Police Athletic League to operate-- could be the lifeline that gets city pools open for the summer. 

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