A group of residents has begun a petition effort to convince Cincinnati officials to use an unexpected $5.5 million windfall to keep several city-owned swimming pools open.
The extra money, announced earlier this month by city administrators, mostly comes from income tax revenues that were higher than anticipated. Administrators have recommended putting the cash into the emergency reserve fund, which they said is under-funded, to help protect the city's bond rating.
Residents behind the petition effort said the pools are needed not merely as an option for children during the summer months but also because they think, if the pools are closed, they might become a blight on neighborhoods and fall into disrepair, requiring costly maintenance if they're ever reopened in future years.
As part of a budget deal in January to avoid a $54.7 million deficit, Cincinnati City Council approved a spending plan that will leave 19 municipal swimming pools closed this summer. That leaves eight outdoor swimming pools that will open as scheduled.
The pools affected are located in Bond Hill, Camp Washington, East Price Hill, Evanston, Fairview, Hartwell, Madisonville, Millvale, Mount Adams, Mount Washington, Over-the-Rhine, Northside, Oakley, Pleasant Ridge, Sayler Park, Walnut Hills, Westwood, the West End and Winton Hills.