Saturday, June 22

Martin County swim community concerned increased rates will lead to possible closure of pool

Coach Daniel Hartley said if the Martin County High School swimming pool is closed, competitive swimming in the county will sink.

“We have nowhere to go, there is nowhere to go,” Hartley said. “We can’t make all of our kids drive to Jupiter or Fort Pierce, it’s just not feasible.”

At a school board workshop on March 19, over a hundred people, coaches, swimmers and parents showed up to protest and have their voices heard over the possible pool closing.

Hartley said the outpouring of support didn’t appear to phase the school board. He knew they were in trouble when he received three invoices.

“Our rent was about $1,600, a little over $1,600 a month,” he said. “As of yesterday, they sent us a new invoice for $7,800.”

The increase he said is over 400%. The district said they have a good reason to raise the rent.

“In some of our audits, we found out that the pool club swimming, the people that were renting the pool for outside of school district swim club, were not being charged the right amount for use of the facility,” Hartley said.

District spokesperson Jennifer DeShazo said the district is willing to work with the swim club.

“We want them to have for the rest of the fiscal year, which goes through June 30, they will pay the rate they’ve continued to pay,” she said.

DeShazo said after the fiscal year the club must pay the new rate. She said the district isn’t closing the pool at this moment and will take all of the 2024-2025 school year to figure out what to do. DeShazo said people have to take into account that the pool is over 50 years old and repair costs are around $1.2 million.

Hartley said something has to be done to save this pool.

“The pool is open; I mean use it. There are only two pools in the whole of Martin County, and they want to close one of them,” he said.

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