County offers $400k to settle on Galimore

Last month, Historic City News reported that County Commission Chairman Ken Bryan announced that the county will modify its interlocal agreement with the City in September to turn operation of the Willie Galimore pool facility over to the city.

During a meeting on February 7th, attended by Historic City News editor Michael Gold, Assistant County Administrator Jerry Cameron, Director of St. Johns County Parks and Recreation Troy Blevins and city staffers, Cameron said that the county had already put out a “request for proposal” seeking bids for repairs to the pool. Bids were to be opened in mid-March.

The plan was for the county to re-open and operate the pool, per the terms of their Interlocal agreement, through the end of the swimming season; at which time, the city would have to make its own arrangements to maintain continued operation of the Galimore facility.

City Manager John Regan recommended, at that time, for the city to take a cash settlement rather than a repaired pool, “so our options are open”. But, there is a fly in the ointment. At last Monday’s City Commission meeting, Regan told commissioners that no contractors responded to the bid request.

In today’s issue of The St. Augustine Report, published by the Department of Public Affairs of the City of St. Augustine, Regan was quoted as saying, “The County is offering the city $400,000 in estimated restoration costs and one to two years operation”.

In previous statements from Bryan and during the meeting with Cameron and Blevins, it appeared clear that the County was out of the operation aspect of the Galimore Pool at the first moment possible. Historic City News sent a request to Regan for clarification; we have not yet received his response.

Now that the restoration estimate and offer from the County is known, Regan suggested the city may want to accept county funds rather than pool restoration — until the city can figure out how or whether it can put back in service and operate the Galimore Pool at an estimated cost of $230,000 a year.

Negotiations are continuing.

Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News staff photographer

Share your thoughts with our readers >>