KGUN 9 On Your SideNews


Residents question why some city pools closed

Budget closed seven pools. Many others open
Posted at 6:39 PM, Jun 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-22 08:16:52-04
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - This heat might make anyone want to take a flying leap into a nice cool pool. 
That's something just a short walk away for along list of Tucson City pools. But some neighborhoods have no place to make a big splash.
Their neighborhood pools are closed. 
A KGUN9 viewer asked us to learn why some pools are closed     
The city has 20 neighborhood pools offering kids, cool, wet refreshment for a dollar a dip.
But seven others are closed.  Including Jesse Owens pool---right where Mary Sullivan would like to bring her grandson Colton.
She asked KGUN 9 On Your Side to  find out why her neighborhood pool is closed.
She says, "I feel really disgusted and dismayed that we can't use our community pool that's for this neighborhood, for my grandson.  My kids grew up here. We used it all the time and there's no reason Tucson Parks and Rec has done this to this community.">
Parks says it's the budget.  Aquatics alone costs about 2.6 million dollars and staffing each pool costs forty to sixty thousand dollars a summer.  The parks department says donations helped open more pools than when things were even worse.
Department spokesperson Sierra Davenport says, "At one point it was seventeen pools.  Due to campaigning, the Summer Splash campaign we were able to raise some funds to open additional pools.  One year it was four, then six, and now it's been eight the past two years, an additional eight summer pools on top of the ten pools we have open."
The city keeps water in most of the closed pools to avoid deterioration.  That's true of the Oury Park Pool near I-10 and St. Mary's.
It makes Grace Soto sad to see the pool she used growing up still and quiet.
"I miss it and I have a little boy who's now eight years old.  He passes by and he's like, 'mom, when is it going to open," and I'm like, I don't know when." 
City Parks says it's trying to re-open the pools but it won't happen this summer.  
Grace Soto and Mary Sullivan wonder why the city closed their neighborhood pools. The city says it's based it on attendance and closeness to other city pools but that's no consolation when they see locked gates on the pools they called home.