Closing Legion Street Pool is a very bad idea, and we hope Johnson City leaders will explore other options before even contemplating draining this city’s only public outdoor swimming pool.
Many generations of Johnson Citians have spent their summers frolicking in this municipal swimming hole. Children and their parents have come to rely on the Legion Street Pool as a safe and economical place to go to cool off on a muggy day.
The idea of closing it seems a bit drastic. While we understand the fiscal reality of the matter, there must be alternatives to shutting down the pool. And city administrators and city commissioners should make every effort to find them.
As Press staff writer Gary B. Gray reported last week, Roger Blakeley, Johnson City’s park and recreation director, says the pool brings in a little more than $17,000 in revenue.
At the same time it costs nearly $78,000 to operate the pool (which is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day). The obvious question is: Why does it cost so much to operate the facility? Our guess is some of that may be for lifeguards and other personnel needed to staff the facility. Are there ways of saving money on those costs?
This is one of the times when we need city leaders who can truly think outside the box.