Some city pools closed during summer months - - Jackson, MS

Some city pools closed during summer months

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

With summer temperatures soaring, you'd expect Jackson city pools to be filled with kids keeping cool. But that's not happening. In fact, some of the city's pools aren't even open this season.

"If you've got 12, 15, 20, or even two pools, every one of them should be open, now," said Jackson resident L.V. Donnell said.

The dozen or so kids playing in the Mill Street pool Saturday may not have realized just how fortunate they were. The pool was one of only five open throughout the Capital City that day, little more than half of the public pools within the city limits.

"The excuse they gave me was, 'We don't have enough in the pool,'" Donnell said. "Tough. Open the pool."

At another on Vine Street Saturday, people came, waited and left, after they said someone with public works would be out to open it.

It never happened.

"You know the heat index out here, you gotta have the pool open for someone," said Christopher Harris said.

Jackson's communications director Shelia Byrd said low attendance can determine which pools will be open because the city wants to optimize its lifeguard coverage.

This weekend, Byrd said, many of the staff had time-off requests, which could have also contributed to the closings.

"I know one year, I'm not saying this year, one year they didn't have enough lifeguards. Some pools couldn't open because of it," said Donnell.

Our investigation found some of these facilities hadn't been open for some time.  For example, the water in this pool at Battlefield Park on Porter Street had a distinct green tint, possibly from algae.

"It's nasty. You know, a child shouldn't even be swimming in that kind of filthy conditions," said Jackson Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes.

Donnell said that's a problem the Battlefield Park pool wouldn't have if it were used frequently.

"Kids don't have nothing to do," said Donnell. "You wanna keep em out of the streets, don't you? Want to keep that gun out of their hands, don't we? Give them something to do." 

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