SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Atlanta-based company that was originally offered the contract to manage Shreveport‘s public pools this summer has backed out of the deal, and the city says the only other applicant for the job is not eligible.
The news of the pending contract with USA Management last week sparked some controversy, as it marked the end of a 12-year relationship the city had with Rock Solid Athletic Club. The local non-profit also ran ‘Project Swim,’ providing free swim lessons to more than 18,000 since its inception following the drownings of six local teens in the Red River in the summer of 2009.
Rock Solid was the only other bidder for the $125,000 contract this year, but the city says they won’t be moving forward with them, either.
“Procedures outline that we move to the next proposal, but it was determined that the company was non-responsive due to its failure to provide accurate information in the documents that were submitted,” said a statement late Thursday afternoon from the office of Mayor Adrian Perkins. “Specifically, this company failed to disclose any and all litigation that they were involved in over the past five years.”
That allegation comes after Rock Solid questioned the city’s motives for the sudden requirement to bid for the contract for the first time in 12 years. The city said the decision was based on the highest scoring applicant for the contract.
The latest developments in the community pool management contract saga leave the city scrambling to open the pools in less than six weeks.
According to the SPAR website, five SPAR pools are scheduled to open to the public from June 28 to July 28. After July 28, the Southern Hills pool is supposed to be open on weekends only through Labor Day (Monday, September 2) from 1-5 p.m.
The mayor’s office says plans are in the works to open the pools on time but did not offer details on how they expect to do that.
“The City of Shreveport and SPAR are working quickly to develop a plan to provide access to swim programs and to create a safe experience for local youth this summer.”
KTAL NBC 6 News has reached out to Rock Solid for comment.