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Swimming: Zephyrhills' pool to remain open through season

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Tue. September 22, 2009 | Izzy Gould | Email

Pasco County athletic director Phil Bell said Tuesday in an e-mail he has worked out a deal with Pasco County Parks and Recreation director Rick Buckman to keep the Hercules Aquatic Center open.

"(Zephyrhills High) will have to pay for that service for the remainder of the season," Bell wrote. "I am working behind the scenes to help (Zephyrhills principal) Steve (Van Gorden) pay that fee."

Buckman said early this month 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 and closing the pool is one of many decisions on the table.

Zephrhills coach Shannon Mathews said earlier this month she received a call from the Parks and Recreation department to inform her the pool would be drained Oct. 1. Negotiations began on two fronts to keep the pool open through part of November to allow the Bulldogs to finish their season.

Donations have also been collected and a Zephyrhills Dairy Queen pledged to donate 10 percent of its sales on Mondays throughout the swim season.

igould@sptimes.com

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