Viewpoint: Drain pools, not bank accounts

At a time when every penny is important, Albany city leaders may be on the verge of a colossal waste of money. Every city department was ordered to make deep cuts to their budgets for the upcoming year.

The Recreation and Parks Department decided to save money by closing the Carver Pool.

They say it costs nearly $100,000 to keep the pool open for the summer, but only about 20 kids a day use it. Let's say it's open for 75 days. That means it costs $63.00 per child per day to operate.

The Rec department worked out a deal with the Boys and Girls Club. The kids who normally swim at Carver could enjoy the Boys Club pool instead for free, transportation included. Sounds like a great plan to save the city a hundred grand. Nobody loses. But city commissioners didn't think so.

Apparently, a couple got a few calls from parents who didn't like the idea of closing the Carver Pool. They caved and decided to put the money back in the budget. So, Albany taxpayers will have to pay more than $1200 a day to keep a pool open that fewer than two dozen children a day use. That's ridiculous.

It's not too late to do what's right. City commissioners haven't approved the budget for the upcoming fiscal year yet. They could still decide to accept the Recreation Department's proposal. That's what they should do.

Drain the pool instead of draining more of our tax money.