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Community Commentary:

We should have access to pools all year round

June 21, 2008|By Bob Schmitt and Shannon Miller

We firmly support the Burbank City Council decision to extend the use of McCambridge Park Pool through October and thank the City Council members who initiated this action and later supported it (“Council OKs cash for pool,” June 14).

But why should extending the swimming season require a special action by the council?

Burbank has two fine public outdoor pools that should be meeting the recreation and exercise needs of Burbank and nearby residents and workers on a year-round basis, similar to the practices of the Los Angeles park pools and the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center in Pasadena.

In Southern California, outdoor year-round swimming is the norm, not the exception.

The Burbank Park, Recreation and Community Services Department should be continually developing new aquatics programs, especially for adults. It should include these year-round programs in their budget requests every year.

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If there’s a budget crisis or council rejection of this funding, swimmers will know that the parks department is doing its job.

There has not been an extended season of a Burbank pool since 2002, yet the popularity and demand for age group swimming, lap swimming, masters swimming, lessons, stroke clinics, water polo, aqua aerobics and triathlon training has grown.

So I think it’s time to break out of the “We’ve always done it this way” attitude and keep at least one of the four pools — located at McCambridge and Verdugo parks, Burbank and Burroughs high schools — open on a year-round basis.

It may take a while to overcome apparent obstacles and develop an aquatics community, but the interest is high, and swimmers are problem-solvers.

Finally, it seems that several years ago a solar heating system was installed at McCambridge pool.

I don’t think this system has ever had a full-season test.

We should expect that using the solar heating system and pool covers would cut the forecasts of pool heating costs and stretch the budget allocation even beyond October.

Everybody in the pool(s).


 BOB SCHMITT AND SHANNON MILLER are Burbank residents.

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