Cutbacks may change how people cool off this summer

FRESNO, Calif.

While many families say this is a great option for them this summer, the city's budget problems have some people concerned about other facilities in the area.

Dozens of children happily splashed around at Northeast Fresno's Todd Beamer Park Monday.

Kaleb Martinez said, "I like doing that one, the door, the jelly fish one and that gate one."

Parents say with temperatures reaching the triple digits this week, it's the perfect alternative to stay cool, for free.

Norma Martinez said, "For free, I would say for free, it probably is hard to find things to do with all the budget cuts and everything."

In comparison, Frank H Ball Park in Southwest Fresno, looks like a ghost town. For the first time in several years, the pool remains closed, even though kids have been out of school for more than a week.

Mariah Morales said, "That's sad because like some kids look forward to getting wet here."

Reporter asked, "Is there a lot to do in this neighborhood?"

Morales replied, "No, not really."

The pools at the Mosqueda Center and Mary Ella Brown Center are also locked up.

Fresno's Assistant City Manager, Bruce Rudd says pools haven't opened for the summer yet because the city is undergoing a budget crisis. But, he says those pools will be open by the end of this week.

Bruce Rudd said, "You can see by the council motions that the majority of council still is moving forward toward adopting the mayor's budget and with that we anticipate, we'll probably have those pools open within the next two to three days at the most."

In addition, Rudd says, a $21 thousand grant from PG&E will ensure all of the city's four cooling centers will open when temperatures reach 105 degrees.

In the meantime, families will continue to find alternatives, like taking their kids to Fresno High School. It's one of several high schools providing the public a place to go during the summer months.

The city-run Airways pool out by the airport is open. As for the high schools, this is the first time Fresno Unified has opened a pool to the public. Clovis Unified has three available, along with the pool at Central High's East campus.

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