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Bremerton to finalize city pool’s transfer to YMCA

An agreement between the City of Bremerton and the Kitsap Family YMCA will hand management of the Glenn Jarstad Aquatic Center to the club for the next 10 years, pending City Council approval.

The agreement was presented to the Council’s Public Safety and Parks Committee Tuesday and will go before the full Council Sept. 1. The city and the YMCA have negotiated the management transfer for several months as part of an effort to save the city the more than $200,000 a year it loses operating the pool.

Members of the Olympic Aquatic Center, which rents the city pool, submitted an alternate proposal last month to run the pool as a non-profit organization, citing concerns that YMCA management would shut out community groups and therapy programs that use the pool.

Wyn Birkenthal, director of Parks and Recreation, said the city passed up the non-profit submission because it proposed a year-to-year agreement, whereas YMCA management would be more long term — a 10-year takeover with an option for two additional 10-year contract renewals.

“They couldn’t make a guarantee that they could manage the pool for more than the year 2011,” Birkenthal said of the non-profit proposal.

While the city would still own the pool, YMCA would hire and supervise employees and maintain and operate the pool and continue to offer swim lessons and water fitness classes, according to the draft agreement. The club will allow swimmers to use the pool as part of its advertised day use fee for non-members.

The YMCA will be required to honor the city pool’s existing programs, rental commitments and admission fees through the end of 2010.

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