Niles fiscal emergency drains hope of opening city pool

Niles swimming pool is closed

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – Wednesday was another hot and steamy day here in the Valley and in an attempt to beat the heat, many hunkered down in the air conditioning or went swimming.

But one local pool isn’t open and residents are not happy about it.

The city of Niles is looking for ways to cut costs as it wades through a state of fiscal emergency, and repairing Waddell Pool doesn’t quite fit into the budget. The pool has not been open since the summer of 2013.

City officials said it needs more than $100,000 in repairs, including a new roof, structural work and pool equipment.

“When it comes down to spending money, if we need to keep a fire truck on the road or keep our police on patrol, that is a priority over the swimming pool,” Niles City Councilman Ed McCormick said.

The city has applied for grants in an attempt to pay for those needed repairs.

“I am not saying it is closed forever, but for right now and until we get finances straightened out, it does not look like we are going to be able to open the pool,” McCormick said.

Parents and kids are disappointed about the city’s money-saving solution.

“I don’t even have swim trunks anymore because there is no place else to go around here. The closest place would be Youngstown, but we live a mile away,” 12-year-old Keagan Landfried said.

There is even a Save the Niles Pool Facebook page where people are brainstorming ways to reopen it.

“Kids just want to go swimming. That is what summer is about. This is where you made friends, hung out with your friends, got away from your parents and beat the heat. No better than the pool,” April Kendra of Girard said.

There is going to be a town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 11 at the Niles Wellness Center, where people can discuss the future of the pool.

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