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Sacramento critics: Southside Park's closed pool part of bigger issue

Critics say Southside Park's pool closure points to larger issues
Critics say Southside Park's pool closure points to larger issues 03:15

SACRAMENTO - Are Sacramento's parks crumbling? A long list of deferred maintenance projects is starting to impact communities in the capital city.

Southside Park residents are going a whole summer without their community pool. It speaks to a larger issue of deferred maintenance for parks in the city at large. But what is happening to fix these parks? 

Southside Pool's closure speaks to a broader concern. 

Southside Pool

"There is a systemic issue where there isn't enough money for deferred maintenance for any of the city parks, and I don't think it's reasonable to accept that we're gonna have a pool close every year," said Sarah  Cox, president of the Southside Park Neighborhood Association.

Deferred maintenance is essentially maintenance projects that are delayed or put off because of a lack of funding. City parks in Sacramento have $119 million in projects on the table and Southside Pool is one of them. 

"We're so close to the projects right over there, and I know a lot of those kids rely on this park and this pool, and so I think it's sad they wouldn't put more effort into keeping this one, in particular, open," Brianna Faiola.

In an area where 39 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, a public pool is an indispensable utility, said Faiola. 

"A lot of people don't have pools like we were talking about earlier. It gets too hot here in Sacramento to not have a public pool," she said.

Cox believes their concerns are being heard. 

"I definitely feel like we have advocates in the city and with the Youth Parks Community Enrichment," she said.

But there are still questions. The city told CBS13 that at Thursday night's Parks and Community Enrichment meeting, $1 million was put forward to the first phase of resurfacing Southside Pool. At the same time, CBS13 did not receive clarity on why Southside Pool was left off the commission's report of deferred maintenance in May and where the project funding will come from. 

In the meantime, the community is still figuring out what to do to make sure there are solutions for those in marginalized positions. 

"I didn't want this to turn into a two or three-year process and have it turn into that pool that's closed for a while, and no one knows why," said Cox.

The projected date for the Southside Pool project is 2024. The resurfacing of McClatchy Pool is already in the process of being finished and should be open soon, but there are concerns here still as this was a community gathering point for many during a time when distractions can help curb trouble.

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