DeKalb, Sycamore abandon joint pool plan

Published: Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 5:09 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 11:15 p.m. CDT

DeKALB – Talks between DeKalb and Sycamore park districts to build a shared community pool facility have been shelved, according to a letter signed by both board presidents.

Both cities have aging pool facilities that will require replacement or overhaul in the coming years, but the boards couldn’t agree on a location for such a joint facility, ending discussions, according to the letter.

“Each board put together a list of considerations for such an effort,” the letter read. “In comparing these lists there was incompatibility with regard to possible locations for such a pool facility. Based on this a consensus was reached not to pursue a joint pool effort at this point in time.”

Per Faivre, the vice president of DeKalb’s Park District board, said it had identified some possible locations along Bethany Road, but that Sycamore wouldn’t bend to the will of the larger town.

“Both sides had what they thought were ideal locations, but we as a board felt that we had a larger population and that more patrons from DeKalb would be visiting the pool,” Faivre said. “We felt strongly that it needed to be in DeKalb, but Sycamore didn’t agree.”

Sycamore’s pool is 31 years old, and Hopkins Pool in DeKalb was built 39 years ago. Although both remain ­functional and were open for the summer pool season, both also are in need of updates.

The DeKalb Park District has until 2015 to submit to the state a plan to make the pool comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and at one time considered borrowing $5 million to pay for renovations.

Faivre said the board is shelving plans to make any major decision regarding Hopkins Pool for now, but that the failure of a joint pool doesn’t take them back to square one.

“We have to look at how long we can make the existing pool last,” he said. “... We don’t want to cripple our budget.”

The park district boards still hope to collaborate in other areas, the letter said.

“It is the goal of both organizations to meet the needs of their residents in the most cost-effective manner possible. This could mean offering joint programs, sharing industry expertise, or collaborating on facilities and/or facility usage.”

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