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Paynesville Press - July 3, 2002

Township agrees to feasibility study on pool

By Michael Jacobson

The city and township have agreed to pursue a feasibility study for a community swimming pool.

The Paynesville City Council approved a proposal to form a joint pool committee with the township and split the funding of a feasibility study on Wednesday, June 12. The Paynesville Township Board of Supervisors agreed to that proposal on Monday, June 24.

The city's proposal calls for the joint committee to be formed by the city appointing four members and the township appointing four members. These eight people would then appoint three others to the committee. No council members or supervisors would be included on the committee in order to get a true feeling of the people.

The committee would be responsible for selecting an engineering firm to conduct the feasibility study. The city has gotten preliminary information from USAquatics, but the engineering firm that worked with the community pool effort in the early 1990s might get consideration, too.

So far, USAquatics has stressed the need to make a facility operationally cost effective. Their recommendation is to build an outdoor aquatic park, which could attract greater usage than a plain, rectangular pool. Such usage would be necessary to pay for the operating costs of a pool.

The Paynesville community is not large enough to support an indoor pool, unless it is done in conjunction with the school district, the consultants recommend.

Getting the school district involved was suggested at the township meeting last week by township resident Ray Lien. Supervisor Pat Meagher agreed, saying that it would be worth the school's involvement just in order to get state grants for the project.

USAquatics has proposed a cost of $5,800 to do a feasibility study. "I'd be in favor,"Ęsaid township board chairman Don Pietsch, before the township board voted unanimously to proceed with the pool project. "Let's get the facts."

An outdoor aquatic park would likely cost more than $1 million, while an indoor pool would cost several times that.

Whatever is proposed by the committee, the township will need to present the issue to township voters as an additional levy in order for the township to pay for part of the pool project.

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