Funding for free admission to Rochester’s outdoor pools this summer was unanimously approved Monday.

“I think this is a fantastic policy change for the city in a year that so many families have been through a hardship, both with school changes and with the pandemic,” Rochester City Council member Nick Campion said.

The council voted to earmark $70,000 to provide the free admission at the Silver Lake and Soldiers Field pools.

RELATED: Silver Lake pool reopening on track

The funds will come from the council’s contingency fund, unless the city is able to use a portion of the $17.5 million it expects to receive through the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

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The move follows a council decision earlier this month to reopen the Silver Lake pool after deciding to close it permanently last year.

The council unanimously authorized spending $45,000 from its contingency funds for one more year of pool operation, while the city’s Park Board is redirecting $50,000 to cover the cost of repairs and maintenance.


What happened: The Rochester City Council voted to earmark $70,000 to offer free admission at the Silver Lake and Soldiers Field pools through the summer.

Why does this matter: The Silver Lake pool was slated to remain closed, but the council and Rochester Park Board opted to reopen it for one more year.

What's next: Work continues to prepare the pools to reopen after a year of sitting empty due to the pandemic.


Parks and Recreation Director Paul Widman told the council and park board earlier this month that reopening the site by Memorial Day or early June will be a challenge due to the number of required repairs and efforts to gear up operations.

In other city business, the council approved a pilot program seeking to provide a path toward early consideration of a plan to adapt and reuse the former Olmsted Bank and Trust Building in downtown Rochester.