A plan to close a public pool and community center in Spartanburg moved forward at a council meeting Monday night.
Two weeks ago, Spartanburg city planners recommended closing the T.K. Gregg Center on Oakland Avenue and the Swim Center on Church Street. They said the money saved by closing the centers would be used to build a new facility within the next few years.
Officials said the Swim Center averages about 2,000 visitors per month, but two-thirds of those visits are by non-city residents.
Planners said the aquatic center costs nearly $500,000 to run each year, and it is in need of millions more in repairs. They said those costs will only go up, and will eventually consume a majority of the money the city has dedicated to quality-of-life expenses.
Also, planners said the T.K. Gregg Center has seen fewer visitors as businesses move in and families move out. They said it needs about $3 million in repairs.
The plan drew wide criticism from the public. A packed room of supporters asked City Council to save the facilities during a public forum on the plan two weeks ago.
On Monday night, City Council agreed that the city no longer has the money to keep the pool and community center open.
"With the Swim Center, it's not fair for the city to pay all of it," said Spartanburg Mayor Junie White. "I don't really think we could increase prices enough to offset the difference of what the pool is going to cost us. We want to keep that pool open as long as we possibly can."
City planners said the savings from closing the pool and community center would be used to build a new center on the north side of Spartanburg within the next five years.
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Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
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