DeKALB – DeKalb park commissioners want to reach out to their Sycamore counterparts about the possibility of building a pool together.
No date was set for the meeting, but Cindy Capek, executive director of the park district, asked for the commissioners’ schedules up to June 1. The idea was spearheaded by Per Faivre, who was sworn in at Thursday night’s meeting.
“We won’t know if it works or not unless we meet with them,” Faivre said.
However, fellow park Commissioner Mike Teboda tried to throw cold water on the idea. He said he represented the district in similar negotiations two years ago for a jointly-run pool somewhere along Peace Road.
But even if both districts passed referendums to fund the project, DeKalb taxpayers would pick up 70 percent of the bill, Teboda said.
“I don’t like the idea of the 70 percent falling on DeKalb taxpayers,” Teboda said.
For months, DeKalb park commissioners have been debating the merits of replacing Hopkins Pool, which is nearing the end of its 40-year lifespan.
The new commissioners who were sworn in Thursday night – Faivre, Don Irving and Keith Nyquist – campaigned on the idea the previous park board was moving too fast with the pool.
Nyquist also expressed support for discussing the issue with Sycamore again.
“If it is not feasible, I’d like to rule it out immediately so we can move forward a lot more quickly,” he said.
Commissioner Phil Young, who was selected as board president Thursday, said he knows the Sycamore Park District also is exploring the idea of a new pool. He said it’s worth discussing, even with all of the challenges present in building and operating a jointly-run pool.
The board’s reluctance to move forward with pool plans can be seen in their payments to PHN Architects, which drafted the schematics for replacing Hopkins Pool. In April, the board voted to pay the firm 90 percent of what was owed to it.
They agreed to table the payment again Thursday. Capek said the contract with PHN Architects is for services rendered.
The pool plan drafted by PHN Architects would have a size of 1,100 bather loads. The current pool has about 1,400 bather loads. To pay for the pool, the district would borrow $5 million and repay it without raising taxes.
The district has tried to build a completely new pool in the past, but it has never been able to pass a referendum on the issue.