Money woes leave Thurston County kids with few options to cool off

LACEY, Wash. -- Money problems in Thurston County are preventing people from cooling off in some of the community's most popular swimming holes.

Wearing a pair of waders is the only sanitary way to walk through the little water left in the Tanglewilde community pool. They've even been fishing out dead frogs from a pool that will never open this summer.

It's only one of two county pools that have lifeguards.

But the tax levy that would have paid for lifeguards, maintenance and operations failed, making it hard for the Tanglewilde pool manager to face disappointed kids.

Normally, thousands of bathers would use this pool between July 4 and Labor Day. Now, the person who runs the pool tears up sometimes when she sees the look on a child's face.

"They almost take it personally like I closed their pool on them," said Linda Gallivan, the Tanglewilde Community Pool manager.

Over in Tenino, a running hose is the sound of hope for the quarry pool as public works director Dave Dafoe is rushing to fill this swimming hole with a million gallons of water.

"When I see the weather forecast pushing 90 today, it's like if I had the thing open, it'd be full today," he said.

Budget problems derailed opening earlier this month.

"It was quite frustrating, because I knew the people in town were gonna be upset," he said.

But now that residents have come through with emergency donations, there's a decent chance Tenino quarry will open by the end of the month. Families are sure hoping.

"They can only go through the sprinkler so many times in the backyard when they want to swim," said parent Lisa Rose.

Back at Tanglewilde, there's a chance to open next year if voters agree in August to renew the parks levy they rejected in November. A lot of residents say they would love to see the pond scum replaced by cool, clean water.