FARMINGTON, Minn. (KMSP) - For Nicole McCarthy and her family, summer will never be the same at their Farmington house.
“We love the pool, the pool brings a lot of kids around – laughter, splashing…it’s a wonderful environment to be around,” she said.
The McCarthys recently learned the municipal pool across the street is not only closed for the season, but city officials have said they have no intention of re-opening it next year.
“I think every budget decision is hard. I think the folks who’ve been in Farmington a long time know that it’s a great amenity. But from a budget perspective, we don’t want to increase taxes when it’s not making money…it’s losing money for all the residents down there,” said Katie Bernhjelm with the city council.
The facility first opened in 1971 and has now become too expensive to repair and operate. Critics say the pool’s basic layout can’t compare to bigger, sleeker aquatic centers in neighboring communities including Apple Valley.
Throw in declining attendance over the years, and the Farmington City Council decided that pool funding is better spent elsewhere.
But, the McCarthys insist the pool is worth fighting for.
Nicole grew up in Farmington and remembers biking here, spending long summer days frolicking under the sun. Plus, her young children just took swim lessons there this season. They say if the pool goes, their family may go, too.
“We’re so sad,” she said. “[We’re] honestly talking about moving… we don’t feel there’s a reason to stay in this neighborhood anymore.”