Neighborhood residents rally to save pools

Photo by Daniel Heraty


Dearborn resident Wendy Dewulf is among the people who came out to Ten-Eyck Park and Pool Tuesday to participate in a Save Our Pools Rally, to dissuade city officials from closing pools as a means to alleviate a $20 million budget deficit.

By DANIEL HERATY
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN – About 100 people went to Ten Eyck Park & Pool for a rally Tuesday in an attempt to convince city officials not to close the city’s pools.

The pool closings are among cuts to the budget the city has proposed to reduce a projected $20 million shortfall for the 2011-12 fiscal year, which begins July 1. The proposed closings would include Ten Eyck, Hemlock and Whitmore-Bolles pools in 2012, followed by Summer-Stephens, Crowley and Lapeer pools in 2013.

Mark Lane, who organized the event, said the residents have been trying to make city officials aware of the importance of the pools.

“It doesn’t seem like (city officials) have been listening to the citizens of Dearborn,” Lane said. “We have a lot of ideas. It doesn’t seem like they want to take the next step. Once these pools go, they’re not coming back.”

City spokeswoman Mary Laundroche said the city needs to do “many things” to address the budget deficit, but said there is a proposal on the table to keep five of the pools open.

“Hopefully when the budget is adopted, we’ll have a clear plan,” she said.

Ryan Woods, a member of the Facebook group Save Our Small Pools, said the collective efforts of the community to clean up and get the pools ready for the summer have been effective, and officials should consider that when deciding whether or not to close the pools.

“This year we’ve done a couple of pool cleanups,” he said. “We had some people over at Summer-Stephens, some people over at Crowley and then we had an army of 60 kids over at Lapeer Pool cleaning the park, the pool and the (park) shelters.”

Woods estimated the cleanup efforts saved the city nearly $95,000. Other residents voiced their concerns over the potential closings.

“I think the pools’ closing is just sickening,” said Wendy Dewulf. “The city of Dearborn has taken so many hits. To close the pools, which is such a draw for homeowners and potential homeowners, it’s a real blow to our community. A community grows up around the pools.”

Resident Thomas Law said the rallies are a good way to get the legislators’ attention.

“We should be able to speak to our legislators and our officials and let them hear our opinion,” he said. “They have to hear our voice.”

Resident Robert Long agreed.

“I think it’s important that the politicians see what’s important to the people,” he said. “They see something like (the rally), they’ve got to understand it’s what the people want.”

The city council is expected to vote on the matter at a special meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers. Lane urged those in attendance to come to the meetings.

“We need everybody to come as one,” Lane said. “One Dearborn, one team, one family.”

(Daniel Heraty can be reached at dheraty@bewickpublications.com.)

Dunworth, Ford Woods pools open
DEARBORN – Dunworth Pool at Levagood Park and Ford Woods Park pool are open for the season. Neighborhood pools are scheduled to open on June 11.

Pool hours are:

Dunworth Pool
Through June 10 — 4 to 7 p.m. weekdays, noon to 8 p.m. weekends.
June 11 to Aug. 14 — 1 to 8 p.m. weekdays, noon to 8 p.m. weekends and holidays
Aug. 15 to Sept. 5 — 4 to 7 p.m. weekdays, noon to 6 p.m. weekends and holidays.

Ford Woods Pool
Through June 10 — 4 to 7 p.m. weekdays, noon to 6 p.m. weekends.
June 11 to Aug. 14 — 1 – 6 p.m. daily.
Aug. 15 to Sept. 5 — 4 – 7 p.m. weekdays, noon to 6 p.m. weekends and holidays.

Neighborhood pool operations are set to begin June 11. Hours are daily from 1 to 6 p.m. June 11 to Aug. 14.

Schedules are subject to change. All swimmers must have a lining in their swim suits.

Daily fees are $6 for residents with a school-issued identification card or a photo identification. Daily fees for non-residents are $9

Pool tags, good for the entire season, may be purchased at the service desk of the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center. Prices vary according to age and residency, ranging from $15 for pre-school age children to $100 for a family.

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