West Deer considering community pool
INDIANA TOWNSHIP: West Deer officials are interested in joining the township supervisors' plunge into a communtiy swimming pool project.
Patrick Kennedy, chairman of the West Deer Parks and Recreation Board, said in the three years he's been on the board, the most frequent question he gets is why doesn't the township build a swimming pool.
It seems to be the top of "a number of ideas that would benefit the most people in the township," Kennedy said.
When he read about Indiana Township's public hearing on their pool study, he pitched the idea of a joint project to the West Deer supervisors. They supported the exploration of a cooperative project.
"We're not nearly as far as you are," Kennedy said to the Indiana Township supervisors Tuesday night.
Indiana Township Manager Daniel Anderson agreed, and said the final draft of the feasibility study is expected soon. However, Anderson said the largest concern about a pool was not the operational costs. The year-to-year costs could be paid by user fees according to the study. The problem is the construction costs.
Working cooperatively might enable the townships to qualify for state and federal grants to help with that, Anderson said.
"They want the biggest bang for their bucks," he said.
Kennedy offered to solve another problem, a location. He suggested the former Nike missile site along Route 910. The site, about 12-acres, has a little piece in Indiana Township. Presently a senior citizens center is located there. Also, the International Football Association has soccer fields at the site.
"There is nothing permanent there," Kennedy said.
He said the federal government requires the land be used for recreation. A pool would encompass about five acres Anderson said.
The manager said it would be a minimal cost for Pashek Associates, the firm that compiled Indiana's pool study, to revamp the monetary figures factoring in another municipality.
Anderson said other northern-rim communities such as Richland or Frazer also could be brought in to broaden the base.
The plan is not without problems. The missile silos are probably filled with water and are slated to be removed by the Army Corps of Engineers in 2008.
"This might be a chance to move this up," Kennedy said.
"It's worthwhile doing some cooperative exploration," Indiana Township Mayor George Dull said.
Kennedy said he had run the idea by West Deer Township Manager Shelia Hanlon and the supervisors, who agreed it could be feasible.
"Money is the key," Kennedy said.