South County cities offer cooling stations for summer


SOUTH COUNTY — South Monterey County cities from King City to Gonzales experienced high temperatures last week and several cooling stations were planned for residents to get a break from the heat.

Cooling stations first came to South County about two years ago when there was a heat wave with temperatures reaching more than 100 degrees. Beginning with Gonzales City Manager Rene Mendez, who met with city managers from the other three cities, a place with air conditioning and water within each city was established.

Last week, from June 2 to 4, saw the return of the cooling stations at the Greenfield Civic Center and at the South County YMCA in Soledad.

According to Nina Aguayo, executive assistant to the city manager, Greenfield is planning to open its council chambers if temperatures are in the high 80s and up. Aguayo said the chambers would be open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. depending on how hot it is at 4 p.m. and the amount of people in the chambers at that time.

“Right now, what we have to offer is a cool place for people to come in from the heat and cool down,” Aguayo said. “We have cold water bottles to offer them and do have a monitor in the chambers to play movies.”

At the YMCA, there is a room toward the back of the building for families and the elderly to get out of the heat. According to local YMCA Executive Director Joe Gonzales, the cooling station is offered when temperatures rise more than 100 degrees and did not have many participants at the June station.

Currently, the City of Gonzales does not have any immediate plans to have a cooling station. In past years, the King City Recreation Department has opened its doors for residents during extreme temperatures.

The four cities also have swimming pools, which also offer a refreshing way to beat the heat. Recreational swim opens at 1 p.m. for King City and Soledad, 12 p.m. for Greenfield Pool at Oak Park and 12:30 p.m. for the Gonzales pool.

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