Winamac’s swimming pool rebuilding effort is not quite done yet. While the town has pulled its official support for the project, the Winamac Pool Committee will be able to continue fundraising.
That’s according to Community Foundation of Pulaski County Executive Director Wendy Rose. “The pass-through fund agreement that we hold for the community pool project has a termination date of December 31 of 2020,” she explains, “and so that remains in place.”
The Winamac Park Board voted last week to stop work on the project, after the town council determined the town couldn’t afford to operate a pool, at least for the foreseeable future. Park board members were concerned that by taking that action, they would end the agreement with the community foundation early, and money raised in private donations could be redistributed for other uses.
But Rose says that is not the case, and as it stands, the money will stay where it is until 2020. “It’s set. It’s not dissolved. It’s not in a hurry to be distributed until at least that time.” That means the pool committee still has a chance to raise the necessary funds and build a pool. The bigger question remains how to fund its day-to-day operations.
Rose says a separate, permanent fund has been set up at the community foundation to raise money for ongoing pool maintenance, but it may be a while before it collects enough money. “We have a three-year period for the fund to grow before any payouts are made,” she says. “That fund’s going to stay intact.”
Rose reassures donors that their money will be used for the best interest of the community. “It was really exciting to see so many individuals as well as business come forward to support this project, to better the community, to provide an opportunity for children and adults to have a pool in town, and I just want them to feel reassured that we’re not going to act in some hasty manner and just utilize the dollars that they’ve given in some strange way.”
She says the Winamac Park Board can request to amend its agreement with the community foundation, but the funds still have to be used for their original purpose or something as close to it as possible. Specifically, that means meeting the health and recreation needs of the community’s children.
At this point, the pool committee plans to continue raising money for the pool project, while park board members want to work with them to come up with other ideas, if a pool can’t be built. They’ll discuss those plans with the community foundation’s board of directors on November 21.