Citizen plan for Galimore debuts Monday

40th ACCORD President Gwen Duncan informed Historic City News that she is looking forward to presenting the St. Augustine City Commission with an operational plan that includes hope for the Willie Galimore Community Center in Lincolnville.

Duncan, who grew up in St. Augustine, serves with Purcell Conway as co-director of the management team planning a program for a revitalized “Willie Galimore Educational and Recreational Center” under the umbrella of the 40th ACCORD, Inc.

Audrey Galimore, widow of the center’s namesake, will serve on a three-member advisory board that initially includes Dalonja Duncan, manager of the Excelsior Museum and Cultural Center, and Barbara Vickers, chair of the St. Augustine Foot Soldiers Remembrance Project.

Last week, concerned citizens met with City Manager John Regan and General Services Director Jim Piggott as time runs out on the 1987 interlocal maintenance agreement between the City of St. Augustine and St. Johns County.

Upkeep on the once vibrant Riberia Street center has been ignored since shortly after the County opened its new “Solomon Calhoun Center” in West Augustine two years ago. The pool facility has been used by swim teams, residents and their families for over twenty years. However, suffering neglect at the hands of the St. Johns County Parks and Recreation Department, the pool has been closed since it failed a Health Department inspection in 2009.

After reviewing cost estimates to rehab and operate the Galimore pool for one summer season, city staff recommended and the commission agreed to accept $400,000 from the county as a settlement of the differences between them.

The new plan being presented by Duncan is expected to include a request for financial assistance, including “some of the $400,000 received from the County” in the settlement.

Duncan says that initial plans include Sharyn Coley to serve as “operational manager”.

If you are planning to attend — the regular St. Augustine City Commission meeting will begin at 5:00 p.m. Monday and will be held in the Alcazar Room; on the first floor of City Hall, located at 75 King Street in St. Augustine. It will be broadcast live on Comcast Government TV (Cable Channel 3) and is streamed over the Internet.

Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News staff photographer

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