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Thu. September 3, 2009 | Izzy Gould | Email

The Pasco County Parks and Recreation department is willing to make a deal with Zephyrhills High to keep the Hercules Aquatic Center open through its swim season.

Pasco County parks director Rick Buckman said Thursday his department is willing to split the cost to maintain the pool through the beginning of November. Buckman said he planned to contact Pasco County athletic director Phil Bell to present the offer.

"We just don't have funding in our budget to pay for the supplies and the staff," Buckman said. "Our offer would be for the school board to help us with money to get through the season.
"If they are willing to help us pay fees for chemicles and to keep eyes on the pool, maybe we can work out a way to keep the pool operating for the season."

The county and the Zephyrhills YMCA were working on a deal to keep the pool open, though no agreement had been reached as of Thursday.

Buckman said the annual operating cost of the pool is $139,000. He said the total revenue is $17,000. The county is looking to slash $37 million from its budget.

"If it were to completely close - we're paying for chemicals, electric, water and sewer - it would most likely be drained," Buckman said. "We don't want to drain it, so we're hoping to get something worked out with the YMCA quickly or with the school board."

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Zephyrhills swim season in jeopardy

igould@sptimes.com

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