Williamsport - facing a $1.5 million budget deficit next year - may lose two of its public swimming pools.
At the recommendation of Mayor Gabriel J. Campana, the city Recreation Commission Monday is asking City Council to authorize the closing of the pools in Memorial and Brandon parks in favor of keeping and upgrading the East End Pool at Shaw Place Park.
The recommendation was made after the commission reviewed a report by Recreation Director Justin Simpson, with input from William C. Wright, general manager of Streets and Parks, and Campana.
In the report, the administration suggests the East End Pool should survive and the other two be closed for good.
The report states that the East End Pool has more available space for growth and less vehicular traffic than Memorial Pool.
"We'd like to put in a slide and new diving board," Simpson said, noting the pool collected about $14,000 in memberships, $5,000 from concessions and $6,000 from summer camp revenue.
Councilwoman Bonnie Katz, a representative to the commission from council, said she's heard a lot of interest in bringing a "spray park" similar to what was at Brandon Pool to East End Pool.
Memorial Pool had been closed for leaks and repairs this season, Simpson said. "I haven't heard many complaints about the pool being closed," he said. Other than a concern about standing pool water becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes, there were not many complaints about its closure, he said.
The Streets and Parks Department poured in chlorine and circulated it to kill any larvae or mosquitoes that can spread West Nile Virus, Simpson said.
Brandon Park Pool needs to be closed because of a lack of revenue to keep it going, he added.
Among the improvements planned for at Shaw Place Park are the removal of pine trees that litter the tennis courts with pine needles and removal of the trees along the pool fence, Simpson said.
Although the closing of the pools is recommended, council has the final word.
"I'll take the recommendation to their Oct. 18 meeting," Simpson said.