Public pools full to the brim this summer - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Public pools full to the brim this summer

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YAKIMA, Wash.- Swim lessons, sun and water in the ears, the makings of a good summer.
Both Franklin and Lions Pools were full to the brim with swimmers this season.

"We had over 5,000 more swimmers this year than we did in 2008," said Ken Wilkinson, manager, Yakima Parks and Recreation.

This summer Franklin Pool brought in around $90,000 but, it cost 140,000 to run. And while that's in the red it's not unusual, public pools rarely make money.

"Not quite even, but we are covering over 60 percent of our costs," said Wilkinson.

Wilkinson said public pools are considered a quality of life benefit, not revenue makers. The other option, an aquatic center to replace Yakima's aging pools, but for now that idea's been tabled, making public pools the only affordable option for many.

"We're on fixed incomes, heavens I hope they never ever close it," said Bonnie Trepanier, swimmer.

"We're working really, really hard to keep out costs down and keep our revenues up and keep things as nice as we can for people," said Wilkinson.

Budgets are tight, but for now the city plans to keep the pools open and possibly even make updates to the slide at Franklin pool and add more deck lights.