You Can Still Beat the Heat in Arlington Pools

Cowboys Stadium, Arlington Highlands bring in extra tax revenue

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Money woes may be closing pools in some cities, but the water's fine in Arlington.

    Other cities may be closing pools for the summer to make ends meet, but Arlington has enough money to operate seven pools.

    Beating the Heat in Arlington

    [DFW] Beating the Heat in Arlington
    Many North Texans are looking for a way to beat the heat, but in a number of cities, that doesn't include public pools unless you live in Arlington. (Published Monday, Jun 7, 2010)

    Arlington has enough money to keep its pools open thanks to extra tax revenue from both Cowboys Stadium and the Arlington Highlands shopping center along Interstate 20.

    "Our sales tax has been up this year, and last month it was up 10 percent, which is unbelievable," Mayor Robert Cluck said.

    All seven of the city's public pools -- six of which are outside -- are open.

    Arlington resident Kristin Martinez said the Randol Mill Aquatic Center is more fun for her family than building their own pool.

    "My kids love it, and if it was closed, I don't know what I would have to do," she said.

    Martinez said she was buying passes so she and her children can go the pool every day.

    Daily fees range up to $6 per person, with a season pass selling for $60.

    "We are a cost-recovery city, which means it's a pay-to-play kind of philosophy, so we have to charge admission fees that have to cover the vast majority of our operating costs," said Pete Jamieson, director of Arlington Parks and Recreation.

    Nonresidents are allowed to jump in the water for the same daily fee. Dolores Jackson brought her family to the Randol Mill pool from Grand Prairie.

    "We're glad it's open," she said. "We look forward to it. We'll probably be here all day long."

    The extra tax revenue helped Arlington avoid big budget cuts this year. Cluck said the city's budget projections would be "much worse" without the new stadium and Arlington Highlands.

    But the city is already projecting a $10 million deficit for 2011. While it's not a very large shortfall by municipal standards, city leaders are already looking for ways to close it.