Summer Swimming At OKC Parks May Be Delayed Due To COVID-19, Budget Cuts


Thursday, May 21st 2020, 4:42 am
By: Katelyn Ogle


OKLAHOMA CITY -

The Oklahoma City Parks Department said because of this year’s budget cuts, residents will be able to go for a dip in public pools this summer, but not until July 1st.

The parks said closing the city’s aquatic center is one way the department could save more than $2 million during the COVID-19 economic slowdown. The other way the department is saving money is by changing lawn mowing schedules to every three to four weeks.

Budget managers said they were expecting their general fund revenues to decline more than 5% during the 2021 Fiscal Year. However, once it became clear how much the pandemic was impacting the economy, the managers bumped up cuts for most departments by 9%.

Despite the citywide hiring freeze, the Parks Department now has the green light to start hiring aquatic center employees. The Department said it’s goal is to hire 100 employees in the next six weeks.

As for lifeguards, the department says not only will they go through all of their regular requirements, they’ll also be trained in sanitizing procedures and how to help patrons maintain social distancing practices.