Swimming pools dry up after draining city budgets

ANDERSON, S.C. On those summer days when the temperature soars into the 90s and the haze blurs the horizon, city pools across the U.S. have beckoned people from all over to take a cool dip.

But as the Great Recession has drained city budgets across the country, it also has drained public pools for good. From New York City to Sacramento, Calif., pools now considered costly extravagances are being shuttered, taking away a rite of summer for millions. It's especially hard for families that can't afford a membership to private pool or fitness club and don't live in a neighborhood where they can befriend with someone with a backyard pool.

Hard times haven't always meant cutbacks. A