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Swim groups inch closer to non-profit proposal for Bremerton's Jarstad Pool

Supporters hoping a non-profit group will take over the Glenn Jarstad Aquatic Center in Bremerton are expected to submit a proposal to the city next week.

Ed Hamilton, president of the Olympic Aquatic Center and a coordinator of the effort, said a non-profit group consisting of members from swim groups countywide could help the unprofitable pool break even in two years through energy savings and staff rescheduling.

Because the pool loses more than $200,000 a year out of its $418,000 budget, the City of Bremerton wrote the pool out of its amended 2010 budget and is negotiating to hand its management to the Kitsap Family YMCA.

Hamilton and other groups who rent the city pool want to prevent YMCA from managing the pool, fearing reduced access for swim groups and mandatory YMCA membership.

“We’re not trying to eliminate anyone’s access,” said Ronn McMahon, vice president of financial development and marketing for YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties. “We’ll work hard to make sure access is provided for all.”

Though Hamilton has joined pool management negotiations with the city, talks with YMCA are still moving forward. An agreement must be reached by Sept. 1, when the pool is wiped from the city’s books.

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