It’s been a normally warm summer so far. And this week, it appears, will start a stretch of weather just a little bit warmer, yet. You tend to forget what an extra 5 or 10 degrees can do. Please take care of yourself, your loved ones, your animals.

Think about how hot it is outdoors as you prepare to do chores, work outdoors, get some exercise, turn the kids out, or walk the dog. The concrete and asphalt will be very hot. You’ll need to think about staying hydrated – and you’ll have to think for your kids and pets, too. Try to be active outdoors in the early morning or late evening (though it doesn’t really start cooling off until after 7p.m.).

It’s supposed to be past the 100-degree mark all the rest of the week and maybe cool down to the 90s next week.

Be careful.

(And please be careful if you’re cooling off in rivers and lakes. The difference between air and water temperatures can be shocking; and rivers are still running at a brisk speed. The smart thing to do is have your children wear life-vests.)

Yuba City can now reconsider city

pool closure policy

We’ve got a strong feeling that Yuba City council members were a bit surprised over public reaction to a decision, announced last week in an Appeal story, to close the Gauche Aquatic Park pool five months out of the year to cut expenses for what was identified as a money-losing proposition.

From the disdain voiced over the decision, a lot of citizens don’t see the necessity for a municipal swimming pool to make money.

Council members can now take a step back and reconsider the action. Should tax dollars be used to make up the difference between user fees and total costs? Or should the council stick to its guns and eliminate expenses wherever possible? Mayor Shon Harris called a public meeting to get input and discuss the issue.

A number of area residents voiced objections to the closure plan, once they heard about it. And some of the concern was voiced over the manner in which they heard about it.

“The lack of transparency is really discouraging,” said one Yuba City resident at the last council meeting, where several people spoke out against the policy.

The city announced in that news article that it would close the pool the day after Labor Day and not reopen until the end of January. The decision, it was reported, was made during the city’s budgeting process. Maintenance costs run the city about $330,00 a year, it was reported. The pool brings in only $200,000 in revenue, so there’s a net cost to the city of $130,000.

“This was one of many tough budget decisions made during the process, but the gravity and breadth of that decision was grossly misjudged,” said Harris. “The way the public found out about it was less than ideal, too.”

While citizens may or may not disagree with the council’s decision, officials can’t be faulted for considering it. They’re sworn to watch over the budget and advocate for the wise use of tax dollars. And to be fair, most opposition is being voiced by frequent and heavy users of the pool. How many are there? Does the budget for the year-round pool, divvied over that many people, make sense? Is the pool management doing all it can to pull in more customers and improve the bottomline?

It’s not unlike a move Marysville considered for a short while to assess a fee for use of public streets and services for the Bok Kai parade. That idea was quickly squelched by a public outcry; though city management wisely assessed values and adjusted the annual budget to better reflect reality.

Sometimes we choose to spend our money on things that don’t financially profit us. It’s life. The city will have to weigh that against the concern they show for frugality.

A July 29 special meeting on the topic will start at 6 p.m. at the City Council Chambers, City Hall, 1201 Civic Center Blvd.

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