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Struggling Pools Can Now Apply For County Assistance

A new Howard County program is aimed at helping ‘pools at risk of closing.’

Struggling Pools Can Now Apply For County Assistance

A new Howard County program is aimed at helping struggling, private, nonprofit pool facilities in danger of closing, county officials said Monday.

The program includes $50,000 in grant funding in the county's FY 2014 budget for qualifying facilities and will be administered by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks.

Grants would be a maximum of $20,000 per pool and they will be targeted to “pool clubs with the highest demonstrated need, based on enrollment, finances and the age of the facility,” county officials said in a news release.

The grant comes after the Howard County Council in July of 2011 voted against a measure that would have given a tax credit to nonprofit swim clubs. (The Columbia Association would not have been included in the bill, the Baltimore Sun reported.)

At the time of the bill failure, County Executive Ken Ulman called for a possible grant program as opposed to a tax break, as there were “wide discrepancies” in the conditions of the pools, the Sun reported.

County officials said in Monday's news release that a work group studying the issue of pools concluded “that some pools were financially struggling, and would negatively impact neighborhoods and the county’s menu of recreation opportunities if they were allowed to fail.”

See related content:

No Property Tax Credit for Nonprofit Swim Clubs

Watermont Swim Club Open for Membership

Swim Tax Legislation Treads Water in County Council

Tell us in comments: Do you support a grant program for private, nonprofit pools in Howard County? Why or why not?

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