With the city proposing to close the Lido Pool for up to six months a year, Lido Key residents are searching for ways to keep it open year-round.
Facing the need to cut $6.5 million from its budget, the city is floating a plan to close the popular public pool during six months in the off-season.
The Lido Key Residents Association has created a committee, with a mission to eliminate the need to close the pool.
“The committee is looking at different avenues to keeping the pool open,” said Carl Shoffstall, a LKRA board member.
The goal of the committee is to come up with a proposal by November to present to the city.
City Hall inherited the operation of the Lido Pool after the county turned it over to the city in a wide-ranging reshuffling of parks funding.
Commissioner Paul Caragiulo has met with Shoffstall and wants to hear more from Lido residents.
He has expressed the desire to keep the pool open, as well, but is also exploring a plan for the Lido pavilion.
“I’ve had a half-dozen restaurateurs expressing interest in doing something there,” the commissioner said.
That something, according to Caragiulo, could be anything from a revamped concession stand; a tiki bar with food, similar to one at a hotel; something more upscale like Turtles restaurant on Siesta Key; or some sort of combination of those options.
City management is in contact with the residents’ committee and is coming up with its own proposals that will be presented during city budget hearings July 19 and July 20.
“I’m just trying to facilitate a solution,” Caragiulo said. “If we get jobs and revenue out of it, even better.”
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