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Council looks to pool its resources

Options for aquatic facilities at Verdugo and McCambridge parks would cost a total of about $16 million.

June 24, 2009|By Christopher Cadelago

City executives found 18 problem areas at McCambridge, including the cracked pool deck surface with tattered coating and an inadequate number of restroom facilities. Locker room and shower facilities at both pools were also found to be in need of a major overhaul, according to the report.

The city is home to six aquatic facilities, including pools at McCambridge, Verdugo, the Burbank Community YMCA, Woodbury University, and Burroughs and Burbank high schools.

The closure of Verdugo eliminates 134 Learn-to-Swim classes, Guard Start and Swim Team, and affects more than 1,300 children enrolled in the programs. But the impact is expected to be tempered by a five-year agreement reached last month between the Burbank Unified School District and the City Council in which the city agreed to pay a daily fee of $386 to cover operating costs at the two school facilities.

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While lap swimming this season will continue through Sept. 6 with a possible extension, resident Bob Schmitt has been lobbying for a year-round season since 1991. Lately he’s traveled throughout the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles and Pasadena to use pools, he said.

“This stuff is being done in the dark,” he said before the meeting. “There has been no single input from a member of the public from last fall to now. You don’t have anybody here because nobody knows what you are talking about.”

On his website, www.teamburbank.com, Schmitt has tracked responses from the city as well as new developments in its aquatics plan. Jennifer Polzin, also a Burbank swimmer, said that while she’s upset about fee increases and program shifts, she is most concerned by what she called a lack of effort by the city to get information out to the public.

The City Council on Tuesday directed parks officials to survey swimmers for their opinions on the new plans.

“How are they getting the word out to determine the aquatic needs of the people of Burbank?” Polzin asked.


 CHRISTOPHER CADELAGO covers City Hall and the courts. He may be reached at (818) 637-3242 or by e-mail at christopher.cadelago@ latimes.com.

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