YOUNGSTOWN — With the city’s eight-week public pool season opening Wednesday, Borts Pool on the city’s West Side is filled with water.
Its operating system, which has had problems before, is in good shape, said Jason Whitehead, the mayor’s chief of staff/secretary who serves as acting park director.
Yet the pool won’t open this year — a victim of the city’s financial problems, he said.
That leaves the North Side Pool as the only public pool open to swimmers this summer.
The city is facing the possible layoff of about 10 to 25 employees because of financial problems caused by poor economic conditions.
It would cost $67,000 to operate Borts Pool on Belle Vista Avenue for the summer, Whitehead said. Last year, about 4,300 people paid to swim there.
In comparison, the operating costs of the North Side Pool on Belmont Avenue is $82,500, but about 12,500 people paid to swim at that facility. That pool is two years old. The city spent $1.28 million on the pool project.
Closing Borts would save more than $50,000, Whitehead said. Because of an increase of swimmers and lifeguards at North Side because it’s the only public pool in the city, Youngstown can’t save the entire operating budget of Borts, he said.
“I’m getting upset about everything is being taken away on the West Side,” said Councilwoman Carol Rimedio-Righetti, D-4th, who represents a majority of the West Side on council. “We are stabile here. I understand the city’s finances. I’d rather have police officers working than have Borts Pool open. But I’m still concerned.”
For the complete story, read Wednesday’s Vindicator or Vindy.com