With the city of Williamsport facing a projected $1.5 million budget deficit next year, some longtime staples were bound to be in jeopardy.
Such as the city's pools.
Mayor Gabriel J. Campana and the Williamsport Recreation Commission are asking City Council to authorize closing of the Memorial and Brandon Park pools. As part of the plan, the End End Pool at Shaw Place will be kept operational and upgraded.
Additionally, Brandon Park Pool is being closed due to a lack of revenue.
The pool at Memorial Park was closed for leaks and repairs this past season and it was pointed out that didn't draw a lot of complaints.
In a perfect world, all the pools would stay open. The pools serve as excellent community connectors, particularly for youth. But the city must have priorities, now more than ever, and public safety and infrastructure probably rank ahead of pools in that category.
We have been saying for several years that the future of community pools probably is best meant to be something supported by private funding from people with the capability to provide that funding and the interest in doing it.
It's a loss to have these pools closed, but it's also a budgetary reality that must be lived with in times of public debt and taxpayers already stretched beyond their means.