NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - On a sunny Monday morning, Noreen Loupis almost has an entire pool to herself.
"I mean, this is paradise. Look around you," said Loupis.
New Port Richey's branch of Tampa Bay Aquatics also calls The New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center home.
"This is our pool. We live here, we swim here. We practice here," said Hal Blethroad.
Blethroad's daughter is on the team, and he is also president of the group. He says their branch was in jeopardy because of cuts to the city budget.
Plans were set to close the pool from Labor Day to Memorial Day.
"We would have basically been shut off from the pool, and our branch would have been done with," said Blethroad.
But all of those who use the pools here got good news, when city officials actually "found" extra money in the budget, more than $260,000.
"Everybody was ecstatic to hear that they are going to -- at this point -- keep the pools open," said Blethroad.
The "found" money is also preventing other cuts, including jobs at the recreation center, and $30,000 that goes to the annual Chasco Fiesta.
There's also grant money coming to pay for another code enforcement officer.
New Port Richey's finance director calculated the extra money from different sources, including property tax and electric franchise fees.
Noreen is thrilled she won't have to find somewhere else to swim, and says more people should take advantage of this facility. "I am without words for why we don't have it full, to the brim."
The extra money only solves some budget issues for one year. So some tough decisions may have to be made again in 2013.
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