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Hill Section Neighbors Paying For Pools

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SCRANTON -- Just in time for the start of summer vacation, pools in the city of Scranton are set to open this Saturday.

But neighbors in one part of the city have been preparing for weeks in hopes that every kid can afford to swim this summer.

The number of city pools in Scranton has shrunk over the past few years. Nay Aug Park pool is one of four that will open this summer. It's also the only one where you have to pay.

Neighbors in the hill section wanted to make sure the price didn't stop anyone from swimming there.

The lifeguards' summer jobs start a few days before summer, getting everything ready for the first day for swimmers at Nay Aug Park pool in Scranton's hill section.

"Traditionally, the kids from the hill section, that was their swimming pool."

Ozzie Quinn remembers when each neighborhood had its pool and they were all free, but that's become a thing of the past. So, the Hill Neighborhood Association started raising money to try and defray the cost of summer fun for Scranton families.

A few fundraisers and donations led to a pool of money the Hill Neighborhood Association said they'll use to pay kids' admission to the pool, as long as the kids are enrolled in the Scranton School District and their families are eligible for free or reduced lunch.

"Free pools? I hope not, I really hope not. I don't think we spend enough on recreation in the city of Scranton," Quinn said.

It costs $5 to swim at Nay Aug Park pool or swimmers can buy a $50 season pass. That's what the Hill Neighborhood Association will help pay for, so the kids can have place to swim for free all summer long.

"In my opinion, I think they should. We pay enough in taxes here. They just raised our taxes 50 percent and I think the children should have something they can enjoy for the summertime," said Joseph Vaccina of Scranton.

It's not tax money but private donations that will pay toward kids' admission to Nay Aug Park pool this summer. So, there's no answer as to how many summers this new program will be able to last.

Hill section folks we spoke to say they understand that nearly everything has a price these days but summer fun shouldn't.

"There's a lot of underprivileged families in this city and I believe they should have that to their advantage," said Steven Lengares of Scranton.

Families interested in the Hill Neighborhood Association free pool program can apply at the offices on Prescott Avenue.

Nay Aug Park pool and three other free city pools are set to open on Saturday at noon.


  • Unhappy in Upper Hill

    The $5 entrance fee was supposed to keep out the undesirables. Thanks to these “wonderful neighbors,” street rats are walking up and down the streets (not the sidewalks) and trashing their “wonderful neighbors'” property along the way. I can only imagine what the pool area looks like since I refused to use it years ago because of the garbage these “poor kids” literally leave in their wake.

    Will the “wonderful neighbors” be cleaning up after these ungrateful punks? Anyone want to pay for the damage to my car? My sidewalk?

  • EvilAlien

    Great job neighbors but why only low income children. Why not all children. Just becuase their parents make more then low income status doesnt mean they should be discrimitated against. Those fees you are supplementing will defienetly be enjoyed by the children but do create a deterrent to nefariousness. I thinks its apalling that you would have to justify your income to get free access to the pool. What makes the higher income familes less equal if anything their parents pay more in taxes to the hills section and if anything should be provided with free entry as well. Not to mention the fact that their parents also pay for their food transportation cell phones and what have you. How about first come first serve for hills section residents and tax payers children.

  • Carrie

    I feel kids should swim for free and adults pay the 5.00 so its a win win situation. Kids are free but the pool is still making money by the parents paying the 5.00 to swim.

    • tom

      How many parents will just drop the kids off for the day-being unsupervised by parents?I guess they expect the lifegurds to babysit.

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