Pool Project Won’t Be Included in Winamac Park Board’s Grant Application This Year

Rendering of rebuilt Winamac pool.

The Winamac Park Board reiterated Thursday that it will not apply for a grant for the town’s swimming pool project this year. The town has put the project on hold, due to concerns that money wouldn’t be available to run the pool if it’s built. The Winamac Pool Committee has proposed a cheaper option, but so far, it hasn’t gotten the official support of the town council.

Now, the pool committee plans to make another attempt during the May 14 council meeting, according to Park Board Secretary Kim Burke. “Judy Heater called me Saturday at home and wanted to know, if they can get council approval, if we can throw the pool grant together really quick and get it in by June 1,” Burke told board members.

The park board had applied for funding for the pool project, as part of last year’s round of Land and Water Conservation Fund grants. The request was denied, but officials with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources think it would have a good chance this year.

But without the town council’s support, the park board has decided to apply for funding for new restrooms and playground equipment instead. Burke added that there isn’t enough grant funding available to help pay for the pool, along with the other projects.

Park Board President Courtney Poor and other board members said they weren’t willing to set aside the restroom and playground upgrades to go back to the pool project, at this point. “Everybody knows that I’m a big proponent of the pool, but I will not scuttle something else on something that may or may not happen,” Poor said. “So if that puts it off until next year and then we do it, I don’t have a problem with that, but I’m not scuttling. No, I will not vote for that.”

However, Poor noted that federal tax cuts trickling down to local residents in the form of lower utility rates could possibly offset the cost that a new swimming pool would have on individual taxpayers, “So what I’m saying is, I hope that the town council will give prayerful consideration to whatever’s being said. That’s all I wanted to say about that.”

While the Winamac Park Board was formed, in part, to oversee the construction and operation of a town swimming pool, upgrades to the Town Park’s restrooms and playground equipment have also been selected as major priorities by the town’s residents.