To the Editor:
A concern that has come to my attention while attending the DeKalb Park District meetings is the proposal to replace the Hopkins Park Pool. While talking about this with others, it seems as if it is time to pose some questions. After all, we are talking about tax dollars and decisions that will affect our pool for many years to come. I have formed some opinions, but need more information before coming to a final conclusion.
Following is the information as I understand it to date:
1. The pool is about 38 years old and in need of repair.
2. A study was done in 2008 providing findings of the condition of the pool. Check the park district website for details.
3. The proposal is to build a new pool for a cost of about $5 million.
4. The proposed new pool will be about half the size of the current pool.
5. The park board approved the hiring of an architect to bring back information about the proposal.
6. As I recall, the cost for the architect will be about $400,000. It is not clear if this figure is accurate because the amount of money to be expended was not stated at the time of the voice vote.
The questions center on the following five concerns:
1. Why is a pool that will be only half the size being considered?
2. Why spend money on an architectural rendering since there are likely drawings available from the past referendum as well as the information gathered from the 2008 study?
3. When is public input going to be part of the process? It seems as if this should occur prior to spending major dollars for an architectural rendering.
4. Has there been an extensive analysis of the mechanical parts of the pool with the thought that replacement of these parts would be enough to extend the life of the pool?
5. What method of funding will be used for the new pool and how will this affect the park district budget, existing programs and future programs?
A smaller pool will not meet the community’s future needs. Previous studies and renderings along with input from the talented and veteran park district staff should provide the initial information necessary to make a decision. Public input is needed before any funds are committed.