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Deadline ticking for swim centerDeadline ticking for swim center

By Staff | Mar 13, 2010

The city has just over a month to decide if the “Concourse at Cape Coral” is worth pursing, or if instead they will pass on the opportunity and let Lee County officials take over negotiations with the National Swimming Center Company.
City manager Carl Schwing told the Council for Progress during its monthly meeting Friday morning there has been some misconceptions about the county’s efforts thus far.
He said county commissioners have just told their staff to prepare negotiations with the NSCC is the city does pass, as the non-profit is a tight deadline to get the project moving.
“Tammy Hall told me we are not in competition,” Schwing said. “If we can’t or won’t do it by the 26th, they’re ready to go with some type of answer if the Cape can’t pull this off.”
A $23 million share from the city has been requested.
The NSCC has said it is spending $20 million of its own money towards construction, the county has pledged $4.4 million, and the Cape needs to come up with $22 million or site improvements, and another $5 million toward construction costs, though Schwing has said previously that money could be saved in earlier phases of construction, deferring some of the up-front cost to later phases of the project
Councilmember Marty McClain equated the overall cost of the project to haggling for a new car.
He said the study is merely a place to begin negotiations, not to stop. He added that council needs to listen to the vocal majority, not just the vocal few.
“We need to get beyond these personal issues, these personal agendas, and look out for the city,” McClain said.
A petition is also beginning to circulate that focuses on collecting signatures in support of the swim center.
The petition to council states, in part, “In moving forward with this project you will:
— increase private/public partnerships
— broaden the City’s revenue base
— increase the commercial tax base
— increase the City’s exposure with positive visibility
— provide employment opportunities to our residents
For more information on the petition, contact Cindy McKay at jcmckayfl@comcast.net.