Moving ahead with Galimore pool

As forewarned by County Commission Chairman Ken Bryan, Historic City News has learned that, at tomorrow night’s meeting, St. Augustine Commissioners will decide if $400,000 is fair compensation to the City to restore the Lincolnville community pool to operation.

“We have 225 interlocal agreements with municipalities,” Bryan told city commissioners in mid-February. “Forty are with the City of St. Augustine. We are subsidizing these agreements, and we can no longer do it.”

City Manager John Regan and Jim Piggott, Director of General Services, made every effort to adopt a plan where the county would continue to operate the Willie Galimore pool which has been closed by the Health Department. Hopes gained through community workshops and meetings between city staff and county administration, were dashed when Bryan announced, “We’re getting out of the pool business.”

City officials say it would take three to four months to bid out the rehabilitation project and contract with a suitable company to operate the pool. That would put the re-opening the facility somewhere in the middle of pool season; generally through June and September.

According to an announcement from the City public affairs department, “After reviewing cost estimates to rehab the Galimore pool and operate the pool for one summer season, city staff believes that $400,000 is a fair offer”.

It is clear that the county plans to turn responsibility for the pool over to the city without further ado. Assistant County Administrator Jerry Cameron and Parks and Recreation Director Troy Blevins told city officials that they were moving ahead to get the pool ready to open before the summer and that bid requests had already been distributed.

Now we discover, the county failed to get any bids to rehabilitate the pool.

If the City Commission approves the offer tomorrow night, acceptance will be subject to approval by the County Commission.

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.

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