Regarding the Sept. 19 story, "Swim club balks at new rate at Atlantic City High School":
I am president and coach of the Mainland Mariners Swim Team. We were forced to stop renting the Mainland Regional High School pool when it raised the usage fee to $100 per hour. As a nonprofit organization, we simply could not afford it.
Atlantic City Assistant Superintendent Barry Caldwell was correct when he quoted the rental rates for area pools, but these are rates that a school district pays to rent pool time during the high school swim season (mid-November through late February or early March). This pool fee is being paid by the taxpayers to use a pool that another school district funds through its taxpayers.
For example, Hamilton Township rents pool time to the Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District. The demand to rent pool time the remainder of the year is limited.
Atlantic City Aquatic Club is also a chartered club of USA Swimming. Our members have the opportunity to compete on local, regional or national levels and may even qualify for the Olympics. USA Swimming makes sure its coaches are certified, are trained to coach competitive swimming and that they have passed proper background checks. In return, it insures swimmers, so the liability does not fall on school district. The Mariners were replaced at Mainland with a program that offered none of this.
My question to the Atlantic City school board is, what do you plan to do with your eight-lane pool from March to November?
The existing program has trained many successful swimmers, kept many children out of trouble and has taught many young people the lifesaving skill of swimming. Nonprofit swim teams cannot afford to build their own pools or pay $100 per hour for pool time.