When the city commission meets again on November 14th, Historic City News readers will learn details of a resolution promised by St. Augustine City Manager John Regan regarding the Willie Galimore Center.
After St. Johns County Commission Chairman Ken Bryan announced “contracts had escape clauses” and that the county would no longer continue a long-term Interlocal agreement for maintenance of the Galimore Center, members of the Lincolnville neighborhood, and others, came to City Hall to show support for the neglected facility.
The City General Services Director, Jim Piggott, held neighborhood meetings and the subject of the community pool and building was the topic of impassioned pleas before the city commission from community leaders and residents who were concerned that the city would simply shut the property down.
Flagler College students, commissioned by the City to develop a survey of community support for the Galimore Center, discovered in talking with swim team coaches at the new Solomon Calhoun Center that its pool is not regulation size – making swim meets impractical there.
In the meantime, a settlement was reached between the City and County providing that the County would pay the City $400,000 — the amount estimated to restore the facilities, including the pool, to a serviceable condition.
When the money was paid and Piggott won commission approval to divert $40,000 to operate Galimore with employees that would no longer be needed at the Spanish Quarter Museum, a citizen advisory committee expressed concerns that the $400,000 settlement would be used to fund other City projects.
During Monday evening’s city commission meeting, Regan announced that he would draft a resolution formally committing the $400,000 settlement to repairs and operation of the center and will announce a deadline date for proposals to manage the center.
Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News staff photographer