Save Mart hopes to save the day for local swimming pools

February 20, 2012 by  

Save Mart Supermarket is stepping into the swimming pool business. Save Mart is launching a fund-raising effort it hopes will raise $1 million to keep six of Sacramento’s 12 swimming pools open and prevent all of its wading pools from closing this summer.

Cashed strapped city officials have had a tough time maintaining pools, parks and community centers since budget deficits became the norm six years ago. Efforts by the grocery store chain to help see that Sacramento kids are able to enjoy a favorite summer pastime is just one example of businesses and neighborhood organizations pitching in to help the financially-strapped city government.

Save Mart officials say they’re very much aware that public agencies need financial support from the private sector. The supermarket will match up to $500,000 in donations received at areas store over the next two months.

Store officials are keeping their fingers crossed that they will have received enough money by April so the city has ample time to get the pools ready for summer openings. Pools would likely remain closed without the donations.

City officials are hopeful they won’t have to put up ‘Pool Closed’ signs that were likely run off by a printing company again this summer. Since 2009 several of the city’s pools have been closed or kept open on a part-time basis thanks to help from an outside charity.

A few years down the road the city may see that this was a temporary situation, said Councilman Steve Cohn. However, Cohn fears that this type of circumstance is the new normal at least for the foreseeable future.