City Moving Forward With Pool Plan

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By Joe Foreman, Editor

The city of Glenwood is moving forward with its “Option 2” plan for construction of an outdoor swimming pool and aquatic center on property adjacent to Glenwood Community High School.

Glenwood residents will be able to hear specifics on the plan at an Aug. 11 town hall meeting at City Hall, one night before a public hearing takes place on the matter during a regular meeting of the city council.

The  “Option 2” scenario would not require a bond issue election and would not result in a property tax increase for Glenwood residents, city administrator Brian Kissel said. In May, a $4.7 million bond issue vote to fund the project failed, triggering the city’s decision to pursue Option 2.
Under the Option 2 plan, the $4.7 million would come from a combination of Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) revenue, private donations and grants and $650,000 the city already has set aside.

The LOST dollars would cover the cost of the project minus the “Lazy River,” which would be funded from the donations and grants. Kissel said. The Lazy River adds $800,000 to the price tag on the project, leaving the LOST dollars and $650,000 already in place to cover $3.9 million. The Charles E. Lakin Foundation has committed $450,000 to the project and an application was recently submitted for a Vision Iowa CAT (Community Attraction and Tourism) grant.

The latest calculations indicate the city receives about  $370,000 in LOST revenue annually from sources inside and outside the city limits.

The plan includes refinancing the remaining seven years of debt on the Mills County YMCA. Kissel said the LOST revenue is more than enough to cover general obligation Local Option Sales Tax bond debt over 20 years and “backstop” dollars that may be needed to meet operational shortfalls at the facility.

If the city council gives final approval to the project after the Aug. 12 public hearing, an engineer and architect will be selected. The pool planning committee will  then meet with the engineer and architect to offer their recommendations and finalize construction plans.

Kissel said construction would likely begin in the spring with the goal of having the grand opening for the facility at the start of the 2016 summer swimming season.