Palm Coast will now keep Frieda Zamba pool open year-round

The city is also looking for options to build a larger aquatic center, potentially in a partnership with another organization.

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Palm Coast's Frieda Zamba pool used to stay open year-round, and now it will again, Palm Coast City Council members decided at a workshop on April 26. 

"I think that this is something that is within the realm of possibilities for us to provide some type of immediate, positive impact to our swimming community and our swimmers."


— NICK KLUFAS, city councilman

The change comes after dozens of local swimmers and swim team members have spoken at City Council meetings to urge the city to improve its offerings for swimmers by extending hours at the pool or adding a new full-scale aquatic center.

The pool is open from April 4 through Nov. 15. It used to be open year-round, but the season was shortened during the last recession, and the city never increased it again. Making it year-round would cost an estimated $137,000 more per year, but the added hours would also bring in an estimated $35,000 a year in additional revenue.

"The least we could do for these people ... is to go from seasonal to year-round," Palm Coast City Councilman Eddie Branquinho said at the workshop. "... They deserve more. Can we do more right now? I don't know, but we are we looking at it."

Councilman Nick Klufas agreed, noting that the city's ability to fund a full-scale aquatic center right now is limited, but extending the season at the Frieda Zamba pool will help swimmers in the meantime. 

Branquinho suggested looking into partnerships with organizations such was the YMCA.

Mayor David Alfin said the city is investigating such possibilities. 

"My opinion is that this is very much a two-step or two-phase project," Alfin said. "Step one is to offer the fullest amenity available to the largest number of people."

That's a short-term fix, he said, as the city looks for "a long-term solution, which we are currently working on with organizations like you mentioned."

He added, "I don't want to go too far with it, but it is the dream — and I'm sure it will be shared by City Council — that the city of Palm Coast have a loud and proud aquatic center that fulfills all of our residents' needs in a timely fashion."

As at other recent meetings, several locals spoke during the workshop's public comment period, pressing the city to extend the pool's hours as the school district, which owns the other public  community pool in Palm Coast, reduces hours at the Belle Terre Swim Club.

The city administration has been working with the school district to come to an arrangement on what the pool's operating days and hours will be, City Manager Denise Bevan said.

City Councilman John Fanelli said people have asked him whether the city would be willing to extend the pool's operating hours to 8 p.m. in spring and summer. The city's outdoor recreation manager, James Hirst, said the city can look into that. Hours tend to depend on staffing, he said. 

"As we hire more people, that's where we tend to add more hours to the pool," Hirst said.





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