And remember, the town of Oneonta has a swimming pool within 100 feet of the city line. Spend a summer morning near the town pool and watch from which direction the children arrive. A high percentage are “city” children.
Philanthropic families saw a need for swimming pools for Oneonta. The Briggs Family donated the Wilber Pool. The Wright family donated a swimming pool at the Oneonta High School that the Board of Education could not sustain.
At a recent economic summit, one discussion focused on the characteristics that businesses examine before locating in community. A good school system and youth programs are necessary.
Solutions to budget problems are difficult. For consideration:
• If children must pay for programs, consider doing it by those enrolled in the local school system or by zip code.
• Raise funds by: Ask for people to fill a “swimming pool bowl,” (small fish bowls or plastic pools for collections), like the Firemen’s Fill the Boot collection.
• Ask local businesses to sell paper fish ($1 each) to put in their windows like the MS fund collection.
• Ask for sponsors. Many businesses would donate.
• Ask the college swim teams to hold fund raisers.
• Charge admission for a water show at the end of the season.
• Ask businesses that use the new city brand “Life Enjoyed” for a small fee to recover the more than $20,000 that was spent for its development, and to insure that life is enjoyed by our youth.
Or, let’s just support what we value: our children. Don’t change the first sentence in the Parks and Recreation statement: The City of Oneonta is proud to offer a wide variety of FREE youth programs for children of all ages.
KARYL SAGE is an Oneonta resident and a retired elementary teacher.