Youngstown extends pool season
By ROGER G. SMITH
CITY HALL REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- The park department's pools were to close Tuesday.
Mother Nature doesn't care.
The evidence: Six of the past seven days have had high temperatures of at least 85 degrees. Three days hit 90 degrees.
That's why North Side and Borts pools will remain open another week, through Tuesday.
Kids' reactions: "Awesome," said Stoney Williams, 12, of Dogwood Drive. That's the only word he offered when he heard the news amid the splashes, hoots and hollers from about 75 youths cooling off Tuesday afternoon. He's been coming to North Side Pool every other day most of the summer.
Donta Nuldrow, 12, of Fairgreen Avenue greeted the announcement with a clap and a big smile. He didn't know what he was going to do if the pools had closed as planned.
"Maybe go under the fan. Nah. The fan don't do nothin'," he said.
Weather that makes you sweat just looking out the window is forecast to continue this week, so the city is extending the pool season.
"We hope they're packed," said Mayor George M. McKelvey, surrounded by a group of wet and happy children as he made the announcement.
Looking ahead: After next week, the park and recreation department will decide whether to keep the pools open and for how long, said Margaret Kane, the office's administrative assistant.
That may not be needed. Temperatures should return to the more normal range over the weekend. Next week should feature highs of 75 to near 80 degrees, according to Weatherdata Inc.
It costs $10,000 a week to keep the pools open, not including maintenance costs, Kane said. The park board, with city's council's approval, will transfer some 2001-02 federal money for equipment into the pool fund.
Kids who have a place to cool off stay out of trouble, said Richard Atkinson, R-3rd, whose ward includes North Pool.
A bigger issue is lifeguards. College students are preparing to return to class and high school football players are busy with practice. The city has enough workers left for another week, Kane said.
Some of the kids at North Pool said Tuesday afternoon that they want swimming to remain into September.
One complication: Youngstown students return to class in three weeks.
The municipal pool in Niles, meanwhile, will close at its appointed time Aug. 18.
City officials said that pool closes the third Saturday in August every year because the lifeguards must return to school.