‘Small initiative, big impact’: Mayor waives children’s admission fees for Dearborn pools

What’s happening: When Abdullah Hammoud was growing up in Dearborn, the cost to access the city’s pools proved too much for his parents to justify. Instead, the future mayor and his siblings would fill coolers with water and squeeze in, finding respite from the summer heat anyway they could. It’s the type of working class ingenuity that one remembers fondly but now that he is mayor, Mr. Hammoud is doing something to ensure that today’s generation of children will have better access to the city’s pools than he did. Mayor Hammoud announced late last month that all Dearborn children aged 13 and under will have their pool admission fees waived.

Dearborn pools are now free for Dearborn children.

Why it’s important: Waiving pool admission fees presents significant savings opportunities for Dearborn families, providing more equitable access to city amenities for residents and their children. Previously, Dearborn charged $55 per pool pass per child.

How it works: Although no longer charging a fee, residents still need to acquire a pool tag from the city. Those can be picked up at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., or between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Pool tags are also available at Dunworth Memorial Pool. Parents or guardians must show proof of residency, which can include a driver’s license or their children’s school IDs. There is a stipulation that only five pool tags can be issued per one ID.

Click HERE for more information about Dearborn pools, splash pads, and more.

Mayor’s statement: “Growing up, going to the community pool everyday was not an option for my siblings and I. The cost of the daily admission for multiple children was too much, and the one time cost for a family pass wasn’t something my parents could afford at the time. Rather than swim at the pool, we used to fill up drink coolers and lay in them in our driveway. Although we enjoyed that tradition, as children, we never fully grasped why we didn’t just go to the pool,” Mayor Abdullah H. Hammoud said in a statement issued Tuesday, May 31.

“Today, I’m proud to announce that we have waived all pool admissions for children 13 and under. This is a small initiative that we believe will have a big impact. Let’s make sure that every child who is eager to swim, has the opportunity to do so. This benefit is for Dearborn residents only. Stay cool, be safe, and enjoy our pools.”

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.