|Updated: 7/11 10:11 am
||Published: 7/11 10:08 am
Meagan Cook and her two kids play at Whiteside – one of five pools still open in Tulsa.
"It seems to be the only free park in town," Cook said.
The city of Tulsa wants to build new swimming pools, but it will cost you. Sapulpa opened a new open a few summers ago with a deep end, twisty slides and water features. It cost $1.8 million. But it didn't cost taxpayers a dime. It was paid for with private donations.
The city of Sapulpa says it didn't want to burden itself by paying to operate it. So the center is self-sufficient.
It makes money on renting it out for events and parties and charges everyone a small fee -- $3.25 during the day and $2.25 after 5 p.m.
The city also set up a $150,000 rainy day endowment in case the pool runs short on money.
Tulsa noticed Sapulpa's pool.
"That is what we're looking to do," said Tulsa Park's Mike Battenfield.
Battenfield says the city wants to build three new pools to replace operating pools at Reed, Lacy and McClure parks.
"It would probably cost more to open a new pool than renovate an old pool," Cook said.
"But Battenfield says the old pools are money pits.
"They're too far gone. When they're just sitting there they deteriorate," Battenfield said.
And he said that it will be more cost effective to build energy-efficient ones.
But unlike Sapulpa, Tulsa taxpayers will have to dig deep - about $9 million for a proposed capital improvement project to pay for the new pools and renovate two pools – Whiteside and Berry.
You could see the proposal on the ballot in November.
The city of Tulsa wants to present the proposal and get your input in five public meetings.
All meetings will begin at 6 p.m.
Tuesday – Hardesty Regional Library Frossard Auditorium, 8316 E. 93rd St. (Districts 7 and 8)
July 30 – Martin Regional Library Auditorium, 2601 S. Garnett Road (Districts 5 and 6)
Aug. 5 – OU-Tulsa Schusterman Center Auditorium, 4502 E. 41st St. (Districts 4 and 9)
Aug. 6 – Rudisill Regional Library – Library Hall, 1520 N. Hartford Ave. (Districts 1 and 3)
Aug. 13 – Carbondale Assembly of God, 2135 W. 51st St. (District 2)