Talk not being matched by money for city pool work

The City of Williamsport has secured $700,000 for renovation and reopening of the Memorial Pool by 2015.

It has selected a consultant to design the renovations.

The only caveat to the work is that $50,000 come from the community to support the work.

Not a dime has been raised.

We have said many times that the future of municipal pools for cities the size of Williamsport is at the feet of private supporters. There just isn’t enough taxpayer money available to fund municipal pools on top of police and fire services, maintenance of streets and parks and codes-related necessities.

The zero collection follows a fall meeting that included positive statements about a community fundraising drive from area high school swimmers.

But the results so far don’t indicate much real public support for the municipal pool.

Pools are not cheap to operate, especially for a city straining to meet all of its traditional needs in an air-tight budget.

If there is no support for the future of the pool from the public, the city should spend its $700,000 elsewhere, in our view.