Town council puts future of the proposed community pool on hold
The Winamac Town Council is causing a tidal wave of emotion as they decided to put a hold on the future building of the proposed community pool.
During a special meeting on Oct. 4, the council approved to not proceed with the building of a pool until the town can financially maintain it. The vote didn’t come without opposition.
Before the discussion of whether to move forward with the community pool began, council president Tommy Murray read a handful of reasons why the council should be considering not to move forward with the proposed community pool.
In the past the town has budgeted $40,000 for the operation of the pool. The pool was closed by the council in 2014 because of the large amount of funding it would take to repair it and because of the operation costs.
Since then councilwoman Judy Heater has worked with a group of individuals to raise funds for a new pool. At the time of raising the funds, the town agreed to donate $150,000 to the cause if the committee could raise almost all of the funds for the building of it. The committee has five years to raise all the funds needed to build a new pool. In the last two years, the pool committee has raised nearly $300,000 including the $150,000.
Heater said she understands using the $40,000 to budget other town expenses, but she doesn’t believe a decision should be made right now because that funding won’t be needed for the next couple of years. She also suggested the idea that if the finances were not available to operate a pool that additional funds could be raised from private donations which has happened in the past.
A motion was then made by councilman Alvin Parish to “not proceed with building a swimming pool until the town is financially capable of maintaining a pool.” His motion passed with opposition from Heater and Vanaman.
Heater said she will not give up on the idea of the pool. If the operating of the pool has to be done differently, then it will be figured out. Her concern now is that the committee will have a harder time asking for funds because the council has put the pool plans on hold.