The Winamac Park Board is moving ahead with a grant application for the town’s swimming pool rebuilding project. The town’s applying for up to $200,000 in matching money from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Before turning in the grant application, the park board held a public hearing Monday to give residents a chance to weigh in on the project.
The new pool is expected to cost between $500,000 and $600,000. So far, $143,000 has been raised in a fund at the Community Foundation of Pulaski County, while the Town of Winamac has pledged another $150,000.
Board members said they’ve been under a tight schedule to get the grant application in by the June 1 deadline, since the board just became eligible to apply for grants recently. On top of that, board member Pat Bawcum said there are a lot of federal requirements the project must comply with, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act. “That’s going to be a big, big, big issue, and also, the building that you’re attaching it to isn’t compliant,” she explained. “So don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t go through the first time because there’s some things we just don’t have any control over right now. But at least they can tell us where we are deficient, and we can work to fix those deficiencies and move on with the process and reapply again.”
But Board President Courtney Poor said it would be safer to get the grant this year, if possible. “There is no guarantee about the next cycle. You do need to know that,” he said. “That’s why we’re trying to jam this into such a short period of time because no one knows what type of cuts that we might have coming from Washington to the DNR. Maybe there will be none. Doubt that.”
The park board will be notified by August whether they’ve been selected for the grant, but board member Brad Zellers said it would still be a while before the pool is built. “It’s a long process,” he said. “Even if you get the grant in August, it’s 18 months from that point, so it doesn’t happen overnight by any means. The actual building part of the pool is a couple months at the most. It’s not that big of a process.”
Poor added that Pulaski County Community Development Commission Executive Director Nathan Origer has offered to help the town with the application.