By Tamas Mondovics

During its last monthly meeting for the year, normally held at The Palmetto Club at 17004 Dorman Rd. in Lithia, members of the FishHawk Community Development District 2 Board have finally voted on two proposed uses of the community’s Aquatic Club brought before them by competitive swim programs Team Velocity and Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center’s Blue Wave.

It was the third time since October that the requests of the two programs were addressed by the Board, which at the end said no to Team Velocity, a Lutz based competitive swim program, while unanimously voting in Blue Wave’s favor.

Representatives of Team Velocity requested a year-round use of the facility located in the heart of FishHawk’s Garden District. Team Head Coach Gary Goodner told the CDD Board that the organization was prepared to pay for the complete installation of a permanent water heating and cooling system along with lights for after dark use by the team and community.

“We are here asking for a great partnership with the community,” said Goodner. “We know competitive swimming, we are aware of the need here and are well prepared to offer a great program with many additional benefits to the community.”

Also vying for the use of the Aquatic Club, Blue Wave’s Swim Coach Todd Foley expressed interest in using the facility only to accommodate summer swim programs such as offering swim lessons from April through September. Foley made clear to the Board that Blue Wave had no desire or plans to be installing any heaters or lights while using the Club.

That sounded much more feasible to the members of the Board, whose decision to turn down Team Velocity came as a great disappointment for some.

Several residents said that they were very much looking forward to joining a new competitive swim team so close to home especially one that was to be led by U.S. Olympic swim coach and 2008 ASCA’s Hall of Fame inductee, Don LaMont.

“Aside from the swim team and the fact that a great coach is ready to lead the program, the Board should consider the longterm benefits such as a heated pool in the winter months and lights that would allow the pool to stay open until later in the evening, all of which Team Velocity is ready to bring to the community,” FishHawk resident Troy Seibert said prior to the Board’s decision.

While one local resident was against any swim team or scheduled program using the facility, a number of Board members expressed their concerns, including Marisa Radley, who said, “I am concerned about the scheduling issues as the facility is already booked and very busy.”

Board vice Chairman, Ruth Brown added, “I am just concerned that the proposal changes the way our pools have been designed and built.”

However, FishHawk resident Karena Caputo added that in the wintertime the facility is hardly used and she would have liked a little more research on the part of the Board which she feels would have gone a long way.

The next FishHawk CDD 2 meeting will be held Tuesday, January 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Fishhawk Palmetto Club located at 17004 Dorman Rd. For more information about the FishHawk CDD 2, visit fishhawkcdd2.org.