Wapato public swimming pool set to open for summer
Wapato’s only public swimming pool is reopening after being closed for two years due to city budget problems.
It’s expected to open again on July 7, according to Mayor Tony Guzman.
According to our media partners at the Yakima Herald-Republic, the municipal pool costs about $150,000 a summer to operate. The city, which is located on Yakama Reservation land, has faced funding challenges for the past decade.
Once these challenges began to emerge, the Yakama Nation decided to pay for the pool to stay open. Those contributions lasted about four years before the Yakama Nation was hit with financial troubles of their own.
This year, a number of groups joined forces to pay for the pool to stay open all summer.
The Yakama Nation Housing Authority has offered to contribute $30,000 on top of lifeguard salaries and certification training.
Legacy Fruit, Valicoff Fruit and the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic joined together to donate $65,000.
The city is putting in another $25,000 to cover costs that will keep the pool running.
Mayor Guzman said he’s glad the pool is opening, adding that kids put themselves in danger last year by walking to the river because of the heat.
He said tribe members may also be looking to assume pool operations for five years through a deal with the city.