Winamac Pool Committee to Discuss Next Steps During Public Informational Meeting

Rendering of rebuilt Winamac pool.

How to continue with Winamac’s swimming pool rebuilding effort without the town’s financial support will be the topic of two meetings this month. The Winamac Pool Committee will hold an informational meeting for the public next Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Pulaski County Public Library in Winamac.

Committee members say they’ll discuss the future of the project and reassure donors that they’re not ready to give up on it. They had requested a joint meeting with the Winamac Town Council and Park Board. The town council decided against that last month, with Council President Tom Murray feeling there was nothing left to discuss. Some park board members plan to attend, though, including President Courtney Poor.

Then on Tuesday, November 21, the Community Foundation of Pulaski County’s board of directors is scheduled to get an update on the project from the Winamac Park Board. What exactly that will entail was a topic of some discussion during last night’s park board meeting.

Currently, the community foundation is holding about $135,000 that the pool committee raised through fundraising and donations from individuals and businesses. Community Foundation Executive Director Wendy Rose has said any money in the pool fund will remain there until 2020. If a pool still isn’t able to be built, the money could be used for other projects that aim to meet the health and recreation needs of the community’s children.

There’s also a question about whether the town still has to donate the $150,000 it had pledged for the pool, to the community foundation fund. Council President Murray has argued that the town no longer has to pay that money, now that it’s decided not to pursue the project. But as of last night’s park board meeting, it’s believed the Community Foundation hasn’t taken action yet to release the town of that obligation.

Poor was unsure whether the park board still needed to attend the community foundation board meeting, or if the project now belongs strictly to the pool committee. Park Board Secretary Kim Burke said that the community foundation was expecting a representative from the park board. She added that they just wanted an update, not a detailed plan. Town Attorney Justin Schramm added that it wouldn’t hurt, considering that the town’s agreement with the community foundation still seems to be in place, and it requires the park board to give regular updates.

In the end, Poor decided that it wasn’t necessary for the entire park board to attend, but he agreed to go on the board’s behalf. The pool committee also plans to send representatives. In any case, even if the pool committee could raise enough money to rebuild the pool, it would also have to find funding to operate it, once it’s built.