EDMONTON -- Edmontonians are pushing back against plans to close some city pools and arenas. The city announced earlier this month that it is looking at a zero per cent tax increase for 2021, but it can only be accomplished by closing some facilities.

City administration said closing three aging pools and two arenas would save about $1.5 million in staffing and maintenance. Oliver, Scona and Eastglen pools are in danger of closing, as well as the Oliver and Tipton arenas.

Residents in those communities say the decision is short sighted.

“Keep these things open right now because they are filling a unique need, and then we need them to start moving forward on a potential new model for recreation in the city,” said Julie Kusiek of the Queen Alexandra Community League.

The city would continue basic maintenance at all five facilities in case they decide to reopen them in the future.

The city needs to cut $64 million from the operating budget in order to achieve a zero per cent tax increase.