Board Unveils Proposed Pool Project to Callaway Residents

Board Unveils Proposed Pool Project to Callaway Residents
Pool committee chair Lawrence Paulsen explains the financing options of the new pool to community members during an Open House. (Photo courtesy Callaway Courier)

CALLAWAY–Earlier this year the Village of Callaway was notified that they had been approved for a grant to help plan and design a new swimming pool in the community. On Wednesday, July 13, an information open house was held at the Community Center to provide residents with a look at the proposed design, and answer questions relating to the pool and its impact on the community.

A committee was formed and tasked with researching the cost and design of constructing a new pool. Lawrence Paulsen chairs that committee, and is joined by Abe Hinman, Brenner Beavers, Carla Kimball, Henry Moore, Irelyn Rosfeld, Kendra Meyer and Lori Pandorf. Those committee members were on hand at Monday’s open house to answer questions and provide information.

Also present were representatives of JEO Consulting from Wahoo, the firm hired by the Village to help conduct a study. The grant the Village received helped pay for the cost of the design plans and the presentation of those plans, including a two-dimensional rendering, to the public.

The Village Board approved the design that was presented by JEO at the July 12 board meeting. The Board also approved placing a bond request to help pay for the new pool on the November ballot.

Several issues with the existing pool, which has been in operation since 1971, led to the decision to explore the pool replacement option. In its current state the pool does not meet State regulations, nor is the pool, wading pool or bath house ADA compliant. Those upgrades would need to be made. The wading pool also does not meet regulations requiring its own recirculation system, and therefore must be drained and refilled every day.

The proposed pool upgrades will include modern aquatic features such as a 1-meter diving board, toddler slide, spray features, climbing wall, shaded water bench in the pool, and shade shelters along the pool deck. A new zero-depth entry will expand the pool’s surface area by 1,400 square feet. By doubling the pool’s capacity from 100 to 200 people, the committee feels the pool will meet current and future community population growth.

While there were community members present at the open house who questioned the need for what they see as a fairly extravagant pool, the big question on most everyone’s mind was – “how much is this going to cost me?”

The committee does not shy away from the fact that it is going to cost. Funding for the project will include a general obligation bond, which will be paid for with property tax dollars. However, a bond and the resulting property tax increase must be approved by the voters of Callaway. Residents will determine the fate of that proposal on Nov. 8.

Paulsen did say the Village has been and will continue to actively pursue grants and other fundraising opportunities with the passage of the bond referendum. Fundraising efforts, grants and Village funds will all contribute to substantially reducing the cost of the bond.

The estimated cost for the new pool breaks down like this. Site work, pool structure and equipment, amenities, mechanical systems, buildings and a built-in 15% contingency is projected at a cost of $3,644,120. The professional services – which includes design, construction, permitting and other legal costs – is estimated at an additional $564,839. That brings the total cost estimate of the project to $4,208,959.

For the sake of easy figuring, the rounded down bond figure of $4.2 million would result in an annual debt service payment of about $321,807 on a 20-year bond. The impact on taxpayers would equate to an annual tax payment of $877 on a $100,000 property, which breaks down to $73 per month on a $100,000 property.

Paulsen said if the bond does not pass the Village will have to wait two years before trying again, and in that time the cost would just continue to go up. “And not only will the cost go up a lot in that time, but so will the cost of repairs – and we have a lot of repairs that need to be done,” he added.

This open house was just one of the opportunities the Village Board plans to use to keep the public informed as the process continues prior to placing the bond issue on the ballot.