This page attempts to provide public information regarding the future of Selby Aquatic Center. This issue is much bigger than a water polo organization wanting to become a tenant at this pool.
We believe the Sharks Swim Team’s record of excellence in swimming is impressive, but it is unclear to us that the Sharks represent the best steward to manage and maintain the Selby Aquatic Center. Running a good swim program is one thing, administering an aquatics facility on behalf of others is completely different. We recommend the facility be run by an independent management company with the Sharks remaining a tenant of the facility, virtually unaffected.
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The Selby Aquatic Center, a 70-meter outdoor competition facility and water park, was originally part of the Sarasota YMCA. The pool, diving boards, and water park were used by YMCA members, community groups and schools, the public, and the Sarasota Sharks Swim Team. With the dissolution of the Sarasota YMCA, Sarasota County has signed a lease with the incumbent tenant, the Sarasota Sharks Swim Team, under a new nonprofit similarly named Sarasota Sharks, Inc. who positioned themselves to enter into an exclusive lease of Selby Aquatic Center as the YMCA announced their default. The Sarasota County Commissioners agreed to the arrangement as they "thought they must save the Sharks to save the Selby Aquatic Center" (Commissioner Detert).
It is clear there is an inherent conflict of interest for the newly created organization called Sarasota Sharks, Inc. to steward our County’s resource which is a high level competitive Aquatic Center. The Sharks’ mission is solely to support Competitive Swimming as reflected in their own mission statement and the draft lease with the County. Further, Sarasota Sharks Inc. is receiving substantial support from Sarasota County and its taxpayers:
· Exempt from approx. $30,000 in annual property taxes. (est. $900k over life of lease)
· Receives $180,000 in tax revenue (est. $8.6 million over life of lease)
· Pays $10/year in rent for the pool, parking lot, offices, locker facilities, and field.
This Agreement has handed a private swim club a county facility for virtually their own exclusive benefit and certainly their exclusive profit.
APPROVED ITEM 8B TO AUTHORIZE LEASE WITH SARASOTA SHARKS INC.
Commission approved with clear direction to Sarasota Sharks Inc to work together with the Southwest Florida Water Polo Foundation, including a fair rate.
11:50 Beginning of Discussion
17:50 Bill Morris
19:50 Bobbi Morris
21:00 Jeff Bailey
24:10 Beth Bailey
27:38 Mike Bergquist
31:32 Deb Thurlow
35:06 Steve Butler
40:25 Commissioner motion and vote
43:00 Commissioner Ziegler Commentary
44:24 Commissioner Moran Commentary
44:55 Commissioner Hines Commentary
47:00 Meeting recess
DEFERRED CONSIDERATION OF ITEMS 16.A. AND 16.B. TO A DATE UNCERTAIN16.PARKS, RECREATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES
A.The Board deferred consideration to a date uncertain, of the termination of a Lease Agreement with the Sarasota Family Young Men’s Christian Association (County Contract No. 2015-280) for certain portions of Potter Park, located at 8587 Potter Park Dr., Sarasota;
B.The Board deferred consideration to a date uncertain, of a proposed Resolution authorizing a Lease Agreement with Sarasota Sharks, Inc., for certain portions of Potter Park, located at 8587 Potter Park Dr., Sarasota.
Discussed in video from 15:30 - 1:03:40
Sarasota Sharks Inc. is receiving substantial support from Sarasota County and its taxpayers, and will get this support for 30 years with a lease:
Economic impact of the Sharks Swim Team over the past 5 years.
source: Visit Sarasota
The SWFWPF has made no progress in renting pool space at Selby Aquatic Center. The Sharks offered SWFWPF a new proposal increasing the rate to $19.67/hour and adding facility requirements and restrictions.
If the Sharks Swim Team paid their stated rate for pool time it would cost them $1.265 million/year.
These documents are all available via the public records request, but in lieu of time please find them here for your convenience.
Sarasota Sharks Draft Agreement with County 09_03_19_V4 (pdf)Download
County Consent to sublease to Sarasota Sharks Inc., Sub Lease between Y and Sharks, and Original Lea (pdf)Download
Sarasota Sharks Draft Agreement with County 2019-08-09 (pdf)Download
Sarasota Sharks 990 Form 2017 (pdf)Download
Sharks Inc P&L March 2019 - Feb 2019 (pdf)Download
Sharks 12 months ended 2-28-19 Comparative Balance Sheet (pdf)Download
2019-08-21 Letter to County-Selby Aquatic Center (pdf)Download
Selby-Foundation 600k to pool (pdf)Download
2018 Property Tax Bill (pdf)Download
2019 Trim Notice (pdf)Download
YMCA 6-30-2018 audited statements page 21 (pdf)Download
WRITE A LETTER TO THE SARASOTA COUNTY COMMISSION
The Commissioners listen to their constituents. There are many reasons to support equitable use of the Selby Aquatic Center Are you a taxpayer? A business owner? A realtor? Do you wish you could take your kids to the splash park or swim laps for a reasonable cost? Are you a school or community group who has been unsuccessful working with the Sharks? Do you live near Selby and miss the pool?
Their names are Michael Moran, Christian Ziegler, Nancy Detert, Alan Maio, and Charles Hines.
Also here are the two Parks and Rec people: Shelia Roberson and Nicole Rissler, Director of Parks & Rec. She replaced Carolyn Brown in November 2018.
LET US KNOW YOUR STORY
Contact us to let us know how you have been affected as a former Selby patron, taxpayer, or community group, or how you have been treated by Sarasota Sharks Inc. since they have managed the pool. It might make sense to speak at the Commission meeting or talk to the press.