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Vero beach community pool gets reprieve

Funding back in city budget for 2019-2020
Posted at 4:48 PM, Sep 10, 2019

VERO BEACH, Fla. — Pam Meredith is helping LeeAnn Turner overcome her fear of the water.

"I told Coach Pam I don’t like my face in the water … and she said you know that’s a problem right?" Turner laughed.

Meredith teaches swimming to people of all ages at the Leisure Square pool off 16th Street in Vero Beach.

“That is the most important reason to keep this pool open, because it saves lives," said Meredith.

Meredith feared she might lose these life saving opportunities when the Vero Beach City Council initially proposed cutting all funding for the pool as of Jan. 1. The pool is in the only public pool in Vero Beach, and is also used as the practice facility for the Vero Beach High School swim team.

After several rallies at city council meetings, the council Monday night agreed to reinstate $117,000 back in the upcoming budget.

The pool loses about $170,000 a year, and supporters are looking at ways to close that gap; for example having county residents pay a little more to use the city facility.

“That can change some of the policies and procedures so we’re bringing in more income, they can see we’re serious and we want to do it," said Meredith.

A name change might also help, putting Vero Beach in the title to let residents know it is their public pool.

The city budget is expected to be finalized next week. The funding for the pool is only for the next year.