The economic downturn befalling so many jurisdictions is negatively affecting the quality of life for residents in cities where the annual ritual of opening public swimming pools marks the beginning of summer fun. A recent New York Times article highlights how municipalities are dealing with swimming pool operations and related maintenance issues as allocations for municipal services are lost due to budget reductions and outright elimination of funding for these warm weather essentials. Those most eager for the opening of public pools — children — are likely to suffer the most from pool closures and reductions in hours of operation. The article touches upon how pool closures limit summer fun and create more idle time for youth, which can become a safety concern, particularly for those living in disadvantaged neighborhoods. The article addresses the limitations of one-time fixes and provides insight into how several cities are trying to keep these important public assets open.

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