Herrin Park District members have everything ready to go to break ground on a new pool… but the money.
"It's very frustrating, it is, and I feel very sorry for the kids not having an outlet to cool off in the summer," says Park Board Pres. David Rancilio.
But several kids do have a place to take a dip---- right in their own backyard.
These smaller--- and usually affordable--- pools are being blown up all across Herrin, and throughout the Heartland.
In fact, Heartland News spotted about a dozen of these small, blue inflatable pools in just a two-block radius, of the old Herrin public pool!
"Everybody in the neighborhood does have a pool!" admits Jessica Perkins of Herrin.
"It doesn't take up a lot of space. It's easy to take down in the wintertime, it was inexpensive really," adds Herbert Hill, another backyard pool owner in Herrin.
It's a trend the city park district is following closely.
"That has hurt our business, no doubt. Twenty years ago, it wasn't something everyone could afford and like you said, you can go to Wal-Mart and buy one for $300. Still, people want to get out into a regular-sized pool," says Park Board Pres. Rancilio.
Rancilio says something else also has changed in the last twenty years--- he claims pools built these days now have to attract even younger swimmers.
"Exactly-- what we've got now is a hole in the ground. You get in, you get wet, you get out. We feel if we get something exciting, kids will love it and enjoy it," says Rancilio.
The new pool plan is also something this backyard pool owner says even he'll support.
"Oh yes, yes. I see the kids walking to the park all the time and I know they'd enjoy it," said Herbert Hill.