April 18, 2010

Donor Saves 2010 Farrelly Pool Swim Season

At Monday night's meeting, the San Leandro City Council will present a resolution accepting a $35,000 donation to operate Farrelly Pool for the 2010 summer swim season. Until that donation, Farrelly had been on the list of facilities and programs to be cut as part of the City's budget reductions.

In 2009, the Farrelly Pool swim season was saved, though reduced, when residents organized and spoke out at City Council meetings. Chief among those credited with saving the pool was Brian Murrell, whose daughter Lucinda was among those who spoke in support of saving the pool. Murrell also organized supporters and researched the history of the pool.

Despite efforts to increase attendance, which included family nights with free entertainment, revenue was not enough to keep the pool off of the budget chopping block for 2010.

However, in March this year, a possible donor indirectly contacted Councilmember Michael Gregory about Farrelly Pool. The donor wanted to know what it would take to keep Farrelly Pool open. Recreation and Human Services staff came up with a number to cover the City's estimated loss for operating the pool on a reduced Monday to Thursday schedule: $35,000.

Soon thereafter, Gregory contacted Murrell, who put together a presentation to help convince the possible donor to fund the swim season at Farrelly. The presentation and information about Farrelly can also be seen at the website Murrell created at http://farrelly.merl.us/.

Farrelly presentation

It was important that the donor make a decision quickly, because the Summer Activity Guide deadline was quickly approaching. If Farrelly Pool was not listed in the Summer Activity Guide, people would not be able to sign up for lessons or know that the pool was open, and the estimate to cover the City's cost would be far too little.

In the end, the donor was convinced and has made a $35,000 donation to keep Farrelly Pool open for the 2010 summer swim season. As he did last year, Murrell is trying to get the word out and get people to sign up for the swim classes and attend the recreational swims Monday to Thursday from 6:30pm to 8pm. Murrell is also looking for a ping pong table and more musicians to provide entertainment on family nights. Information on swim lessons can be found in the Summer Activity Guide.

The San Leandro City Council will meet at 7pm on Monday, April 19, 2010, in the City Council Chamber at 835 E. 14th Street.

Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at April 18, 2010 10:16 PM | TrackBack
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