GJ volunteers back at fundraising, this time for pool repairs

Repairs estimated at $130,000 are needed to make the pool functional. |GCNO photo
Repairs estimated at $130,000 are needed to make the pool functional. |GCNO photo

The Grand Junction municipal pool is empty this summer and its long-term future depends on volunteer fundraising outside the city’s budget.

The city council at its June 13 meeting detailed for about 15 residents in attendance the problems that prompted the decision not to open the pool. The council knew repair was needed, but guards were hired and the pool was cleaned and filled for an early June opening.

However, the pool lost three inches of water, an estimated 10,000 gallons, in the first day.

The pool has a large fissure and a broken valve. The water seepage is enough to raise concerns about the integrity of the ground surrounding the pool.  Additionally, there are burst pipes in the shower house so that there isn’t enough water pressure to flush urinals and a wall needs to be replaced.

According to city clerk Katherine Thomas, the council received a repair estimate of $120,000 two years ago. The estimate is now at $130,000. “The city just doesn’t have the money,” Thomas said. “The money has never been there for repairs.”

The city budget includes $25,000 a year for the pool, although it costs much more than that to operate it, Thomas said.

Repairing the pool has the unanimous support of the council, but the money won’t come from the city budget.

Diane Wise and Joan Dearborn, who led the effort to raise $1.2 million for the new community center, have stepped forward to take on the task of raising the $130,000 needed for the pool. With them is city clerk Thomas, volunteering outside her paid city time.

The city council has earmarked $23,000 of this year’s pool budget for repairs and volunteer fundraising has already started. A silent auction is in progress now through July 23, Grand Junction Fun Day. The one-day festival will include a barbecue with grilling by the Greene Cattlemen and an evening 5K Glow-Run. Proceeds from all three events will go to the pool repairs.

A GoFundMe page has received $2,355 in donations from 15 persons in the past week.

“It’s do-able. We’re very positive about it,” Thomas said about the fundraising.

Donations can be sent to Grand Junction City Hall, PO Box 15, Grand Junction, IA  50107.



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