Private Swim Team Makes Largo an Offer
By Leo Coughlin
LARGO - A representative from the WFLA swim team, a long-term independent group, proposed at Tuesday night's City Commission meeting that its group conduct all swimming lessons at the Southwest Recreation pool under a carefully designed plan.
The presentation by Rob Healy, president of WFLA, offered a program where WFLA would conduct all lessons at the pool at Southwest for beginning swimmers and would pay the city an amount for each child taking a lesson.
WFLA would handle all administration, that is, scheduling and instructors who would be hired, trained and supervised by WFLA.
The advantage to the city, Healy pointed out, is that there would be no cost to the city for this, other than maintenance of the pool, which would be done in any event.
Each lesson would be of 30 minutes and have three to five persons per class and the city would be paid $15 for each child for each lesson in the spring and fall. For lessons held in the eight weeks when the city has usually held such lessons, WFLA would pay the city half of what it charged in 2010 for each child.
This way, Healy said, the city would get $16 or $20 a lesson, half of the usual amount, but the city would have no costs.
He said, "We're excited about the plan and we think it would be a win-win for our organization and the city."
WFLA is a non-profit corporation that has sustained a swimming team as long as the Southwest pool has been open and has worked with the city as an affiliated organization for 25 years to provide a competitive swim program in the city.
The organization has about 100 year-round swimmers, 25 master swimmers, 25 divers and 50 summer swim team members. Expenses are met through dues paid by members and fundraisers.
More than 10 years ago, Largo and WFLA initiated a partnership that resulted in the installation of heaters and coolers being installed at the pool. That permitted WFLA to rent pool space in December and January and use that revenue to pay for the heating and cooling bill.
As a result of the agreement, the Southwest Rec pool is heated and cooled all year at no expense to Largo.
Healy's presentation was made during Citizens Comment, which can be a source of great interest.
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