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Fruitland Park agrees to let Leesburg swim team train in city pool

Fruitland Park commissioners approved an agreement Thursday night with the Leesburg Aquatics Club that will allow the swim team to train at the city’s pool at Gardenia Park.

Under an agreement with the city, the Leesburg Aquatic Club will pay $3,000 annually in equal monthly installments of $250 to use the Gardenia Pool for training.

Under the agreement, the team will pay the city $3,000 annually in equal monthly installments of $250. The team will not have exclusive use of the popular facility and must make its monthly payments on or before the first of each month beginning in July. Failure to make the necessary payments twice in a row allows the city to terminate the contract and assess a penalty of $200, the agreement states, adding that Leesburg Aquatics would be required to pay the city all outstanding monies owed plus the penalty.

The city and Leesburg Aquatics officials will work together to determine the best practice times for the team. And the club is required to provide a dedicated lifeguard whose “sole purpose is to guard” and won’t be involved in coaching during the practices.

The aquatics club also has to acquire and maintain liability insurance and Fruitland Park won’t be held liable for any damages, actions, lawsuits, claims and any demands in connection with the team’s use of the pool, the agreement states.

The agreement also calls for a designated representative of the club and the city’s recreation director, Michelle Yoder, to attempt to resolve any disputes that might arise. If that’s not possible, the club’s representative and City Manager Gary La Venia will attempt to resolve the issue before bringing it to the commission. If that doesn’t work, both parties “are free to pursue any legal remedies available.”

The Leesburg Aquatics Club was forced to find a new home for training after Leesburg City commissioners voted to close the pool at Venetian Gardens on July 16 to make way for a new community center. That will leave Leesburg with just one pool at the Dabney Recreation Complex until a new $2.86 million aquatics complex is built sometime in the future, quite likely at the Susan Street Recreation Complex. That facility will feature a 25-by-25-yard pool, diving boards, a single slide, beach entry with play features, eight swimming lanes, a new bathhouse, shade structures and night lighting in the pool.

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George Thomas Dickinson III

George Thomas Dickinson III was an avid sports fan, loyally following the New York Giants and Baltimore Orioles. He also loved to play and coach baseball and basketball with his children.

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