Despite objections, YMCA takes over Bremerton city pool

Bremerton's Glenn Jarstad Aquatic Center is officially in YMCA hands after the City Council's approval at Wednesday's meeting.

The City Council voted 7-2 to turn over the management of the city-owned Jarstad pool to the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties in an effort to save the city money. The City of Bremerton subsidized the pool with more than $200,000 per year.

YMCA will manage staff, maintain infrastructure and offer swim programs for the next 10 years, with an option to extend its term for up to another 20 years, according to a draft of the agreement. The YMCA is required to honor scheduled programs and rentals and maintain the current admission fees until the end of the year.

Councilmembers Cecil McConnell and Adam Brockus voted against the agreement.

McConnell expressed concerns with the possible 30-year commitment.

"It's a lousy deal all the way," he said Thursday, adding that fees for swimmers will eventually increase.

Members of the Olympic Aquatic Center had offered a counter-proposal to the city, introducing a non-profit model for pool management. Parks and Recreation, which helped negotiate the pool management agreement, passed on the proposal last month, citing the non-profit proposal's inability to commit to a long-term contract.

"We felt like we were left out of the ability to present a viable option," said Olympic Aquatic Center President Ed Hamilton, who helped draft the proposal.

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