The board approved a $825,000 grant and $1.3 million loan for the pool.
The project is timely because of the current condition of the swimming pool in Monticello, which was built more than 50 years ago. A deteriorating building, combined with a series of mechanical failures in 2008, is likely to result in the closure of the pool this summer.
While a number of questions remain about the project and it’s funding, city officials are moving forward with planning. “We are moving ahead cautsiously, but moving ahead nonetheless,” explained Monticello City Manager Myron Lee. The city hopes to finalize the design plans this summer and begin construction in 2010.
In November, 2008, city residents approved a recreation sales tax that will generate an estimated $20,000 a year in revenue, enough to service $600,000 of the $1.3 million loan. San Juan County has pledged up to $500,000 for the project. City officials hope to raise the remaining $250,000 in the near future and are hoping for private donations.
A number of groups have pledged their support for the swimming pool project, led by school children who are simply saving their pennies. The school kids have pledged to save 700,000 pennies and are well on their way, with more than 200,000 pennies already contributed.
Two students participated in the presentation to the CIB and they may have turned the tide in the favor of the city. Linda Barton, President of the Monticello High School National Honor Society and Bailey Goodwine, the Monticello Elementary School Student Body Vice President, explained the penny donation program to the board.
It must have been convincing, as a member of the CIB emptied his pocket change for the project.
Other local contributions to the project include $5,000 from the Lions Club and two $5,000 donations from the city recreation committee.
The students and Myron Lee were joined at the CIB meeting by Monticello Mayor Doug Allen and Adriann Goodwine. In adition, it was the first meeting for the newest member of the CIB board, San Juan County Commissioner Bruce Adams.
The Monticello City Council is expected to discuss the issue on Tuesday, March 10, after the current press deadline.