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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Foster bats one for two at CONA

ST. PETERSBURG -- The influential Council of Neighborhood Associations on Wednesday night condemned Mayor Bill Foster's plan to close two city pools -- Shore Acres and Jennie Hall -- as short-sighted.

"Our concern is that for many low-income families and children access to pools at affordable fees is one of the few amenities available at the time of the current severe recession," stated the proposal that passed unanimously. "Before cutting services, especially those affecting lower income families, every effort should be made to reduce city overhead costs."

But then CONA endorsed one of Foster's top priorities of luring more sporting events to St. Petersburg through a Sports Alliance. The group called Foster's goal of attracting events to Al Lang Field, the former spring training home of the Tampa Bay Rays, well worth it.

"Rejuvenation of this important unused city asset will both significantly contribute to quality of life and to the economy of St. Petersburg," the proposal said.

-- Michael Van Sickler, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:36pm]


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