Yakima city council considers closing Lions Pool to save money

Yakima city council considers closing Lions Pool to save money

YAKIMA, Wash. - City council is beginning to work on Yakima's budget for 2019.

City staff say their general fund is is just over $64 million but they will bring in almost $800,000 less.

To stay on track, city council members say cuts need to be made. Some possible cuts include: Lions pool, community events such as the Fourth of July or Cinco de Mayo and city staff positions.

Assistant Mayor Dulce Gutierrez said she wouldn't want to see the lions pool close but she doesn't see another option.

"We've hit a point where the city is unable to continue operating an indoor facility as we move forward with new projects and new capital projects including a state of the art indoor facility," Gutierrez said.

City council said the YMCA aquatic center currently being built would be able to offer more than the Lions pool.

Local woman Beth Stadler said she would hate to see the Lions pool go because it's a place for the community to gather.

"One of the main things that Lions pool makes is a meeting place for older people to walk," Stadler said. "I've noticed if I go water walking they kind of congregate in one area and they're just talking and talking and it's really an important part of their day."

City council proposed transferring the Lions pool to the Yakima School District and council plans to meet with the district soon.

Other cuts on the table include Yakima's Fourth of July and Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

"If we're going to go after the high hanging stuff, we have to go for some of this low hanging stuff too and $45,000 is not insignificant to me," said councilman Brad Hill. "I'd be surprised if a Fourth of July celebration doesn't continue in some way shape or form."

City council said all these cuts could save the city over $1.2 million.

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