Jun 19, 2012 3:12 AM
MARANA - Up until four years ago, the Marana Marlins swim team was run and funded by the town of Marana. At the time, the town was looking to trim $8 million from its budget and when they were looking for places to cut, they announced they could no longer pay for the swim team.
Since then the team has been run by parents, mainly Debbie Sullivan. Sullivan became the team's guardian, raising money and keeping the team afloat, but after four years she's had enough.
"I have been keeping it going hoping the town would take it back but unfortunately the town isn't ready," she said, "but I'm ready to step down."
Coaches are all non paid volunteers, but with insurance and other costs, rates have risen from $20 to $60 per swimmer each season. The town now wants to recoup some of the money it costs to operate the pool. They are planning to charge $2 per lane, per hour. Sullivan says raising the rates isn't the real issue. It comes down to who will run the team.
Town officials say they don't want to see the team disband but according to Marana Town Council member Jon Post, "We want to see the swim team going, we are just not prepared to run it."
After being among the best teams in the county for over 20 years it now appears the Marana Marlins may not survive for another season.