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Possible city budget cuts have these seniors worried for their health

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RICHMOND, Va. -- It's Thursday morning, and a group of seniors splash around in the Swansboro pool..

For Brenda Mines, it's more than just having fun.

"My blood pressure is coming down, my cholesterol is coming down," said Brenda Mines. "I use to walk with a cane when I first came here; I don't need my cane anymore."

Swansboro Pool is one of two indoor pools used by hundreds of people in the City of Richmond, and even by some in the counties.

swansboro

"I had developed a lot of sluggish habits," said Debra Jackson. " And this allows me to work and release a lot of stress and get physically fit."

"Most of your physical facilities are so expensive. Most Seniors don't have a budget that they can actually can fit this program into," said Ameen Dawan.

But the future of the Swansboro Pool is in the hands of City Council members as they work through the budget deciding which programs will stay or go.

While it may save the city money, eliminating the program may cost lives in the long run.

A recent VCU study determined people living in Swansboro live 14 years less than those in nearby Westover Hills.

It pointed to a lack of exercise, health care and healthy foods in this and other parts of Richmond.

And that's why Mines is serious about being healthy.

"I expect to be able to go places and do things with my Grandchildren, do things for myself….travel," said Mines.

City Council will vote on the budget May 11.