Pools to open despite being short money

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Toledo (13abc, Action News) - Toledo city pools will open, this year, but right now, the city needs about $300,000 to do that.

Money is tight in Toledo and, each summer, pools feel the squeeze with threats to keep them closed.

The last couple years, businesses and unions have pitched in with maintenance help and money.

This year, the city has already announced it is opening six pools and a splash pad but it needs $350,000 and right now, it doesn't have it.

Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson says, "It's best to have it all up front but if we don't have it, we're not stopping."

The mayor is looking for partners. So far, one major partner has stepped forward.

The congregation at Cornerstone Church donated $62,000 to open Navarre pool and the Savage Park splash pad.

Pastor Michael Pitts says the church intends to use those spots to expand their mission, "and we feed the children all week long and this year we're going to do it sometimes from the pool."

That fits the mayor's mission, as well, as she tries to partner with groups with a higher purpose.

She tells 13abc reporter Bill Hormann, "Organized activities, whether its sports, recreation, education; we're just going to partner with organizations that are doing those kinds of things."

City councilman Tom Waniewski, a budget hawk, sees the value in pools but knows the budget problems and believes partnerships are vital.

Waniewski says, "We've got to rely on the benefactors in the private sector to help us with the community."

But opening pools, without the $350,000 needed for staffing and maintenance may be a gamble.

The mayor is talking with businesses and groups that want to be involved. So it remains to be seen how many tax money, if any, will be spent this year.

But the mayor says, regardless, pools open June 25.

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