Public Pools’ Private Funding Push

Ortega and Los Banos Two Grand Shy of Salvation

Santa Barbara swimming advocate Monica Jones-of Friends of Los Banos-notified the City Council that she’s still $2,000 shy of the fundraising goal that is part of her deal with City Hall to keep the budget ax from falling on either the Los Banos or Ortega pools. City Hall is giving Jones a chance to raise the money to keep the Ortega pool open through the summer months and to maintain Sunday afternoon lap swims at Los Banos. When both programs appeared slated for elimination earlier this year, Jones sprung into action and offered to raise funds privately. She said an anonymous “beautiful mermaid” had vowed to match any and all donations. If adult swim were to be axed at Los Banos, about 43 swimmers would be affected; if funding for the Ortega Pool were cut, about 4,400 swimmers-mostly low-income and Latino kids-would have nowhere to splash.

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