An outdoor swimming pool being proposed for the city of Glenwood will be the focus of discussion at a public forum Monday night, Oct. 18, at the Mills County YMCA community room. The forum begins at 7 p.m.
The 300-person pool would be built on the south side of the YMCA building and feature a zero-entry water area, lap pool and aquatic area with slides and other child-friendly features. The project would be funded primarily by property tax payers in the city of Glenwood who are being asked to approve a $2.2 million bond issue for the pool on the Nov. 2 general election ballot.
The entire project is projected to cost $3.5 million, according to information provided by a citizen’s committee promoting the pool.
Committee spokesperson Melissa Dean told Glenwood City Council members in August that additional funding would be pursued from a capital campaign, grants, Mills County local option sales tax revenue and nearby townships.
The pool would be owned by the city, but managed and operated by the YMCA.
The Nov. 2 bond issue requires a 60-percent “Yes” vote for passage. If approved, the city would be allowed to issue general obligation bonds for a period of 20 years.
The cost to property owners within the city limits of Glenwood is projected at 55 cents per $1,000 valuation ($55 per year in additional taxes for the owner of home assessed at $100,000).
If the swimming pool referendum passes next month, the Glenwood City Council has said it would not issue bonds until the additional funding ($1.3 million) needed for construction is secured.
Glenwood Outdoor Pool Questions and Answers
(Information provided by the Swimming Pool Citizens Committee)
1. Do you have to be a YMCA member to use the pool?
No, you will not need to be a member of the YMCA to use the outdoor pool. There will be daily rates and season tickets will also be available.
2. Why can’t we just redo the old pool?
The YMCA location was chosen so that, after the pool is completed, the operational costs can be paid with city Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) dollars. This location would qualify as part of the “Wellness Center” as specified on the “LOST” ballot that was passed for the first phase of the YMCA facility. At the present time, the city has discussed a proposed agreement with the YMCA to pay them $25,000 a year for managing the pool.
3. Why are only Glenwood residents living within the city limits being asked to vote for the bond?
Only the residents living within the city limits of Glenwood are allowed to vote for this bond because the pool will be owned by the city of Glenwood and it will be located on city-owned property.
4. Why are only Glenwood residents paying for the pool when many people in the surrounding areas will benefit?
It is a city of Glenwood pool, but all Mills County residents will be asked and encouraged to donate to the project. Additional funds will be negotiated to build the pool from “LOST” dollars generated in other Mills County communities. The project total cost is $3.5 million and the G.O. Bond is for $2.2 million. The remaining funds will come from other sources besides property taxes. Also, there will be a lower admission rate for city residents than non-residents.
5. What is the cost to the taxpayers (city of Glenwood residents)?
Based on the current formula it is estimated that on a home with a $100,000 assessed valuation the taxes will average $55 more a year.
6. Can the city afford to run the pool?
Yes, because “LOST” money is available to support the additional pool operational costs. At the present time, the city has approximately $300,000 available for construction which was generated from “LOST” dollars that exceeded the amount needed to pay for the current YMCA bond, interest, and management and repair costs to date.
7. Is the site big enough?
Yes it is. There is enough area for the pool and parking.
8. Why doesn’t the plan include a diving board?
At this time there is no plan to install a diving board. The cost of redesigning the pool to include a diving board would be very expensive. It would increase the cost to operate the pool and raise insurance rates. Very few new pools are being built with diving boards because of the increased awareness of head and spinal injuries. We will have two waterslides in lieu of a diving board.
9. Will the city be able to have swim meets and a swim team again?
We actually have a swim team now (a very good team) that competes in both winter and summer leagues and we will be hosting meets indoors in the near future. The outdoor pool will provide additional lane space and starting blocks so that we can host larger invitational meets which will generate revenue.