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Pool planning ongoing for Sycamore, DeKalb

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

DeKALB – DeKalb and Sycamore park districts won’t be partnering on a public pool, but leaders at both entities are pursuing other solutions for their aging pools.

Sycamore Park District leaders plan to send surveys to residents by the end of the year, so that residents can weigh in on what should be done with the town’s 31-year-old pool, Sycamore board President Ted Strack said Monday.

In DeKalb, park district officials are turning their focus to finding an executive director so that they can get going in earnest on updating or replacing their 39-year-old pool facility, DeKalb board President Phil Young said.

Young said the DeKalb park board has narrowed its list of search firms to three and that the board hopes to select the firm that will find the park district’s next executive director at its next meeting, with the goal of filling the position within six months.

Until it brings on a full-time parks leader, the board is focused on listening to pool staff and has put decision-making on hold, Young said.

“These big projects are where he or she would stand out,” Young said. “One of the first things I’m going to ask is, ‘How are you going to handle our pool situation?’ ”

Former Executive Director Cindy Capek worked her last day May 24. The DeKalb Park District has until 2015 to submit to the state a plan to make Hopkins Pool, especially its locker rooms and entrances, comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In Sycamore, the park district wants to hear what its constituents think about plans to update its pool and will send out surveys by the end of the year.

“We’re going to be doing a communitywide survey ... to make sure that the community is supportive of our vision,” Strack said.

Young and Strack both signed a letter announcing a breakdown in joint talks about the two boards collaborating on a public pool.

The Daily Chronicle received the letter last week.

Meanwhile, both Young and Strack took issue with comments that DeKalb Park District Board Vice President Per Faivre made about the breakdown of the talks.

Both agreed that it wasn’t a matter of which town should get the pool, but an issue of resources on DeKalb’s end that forced the sides to scrap the plans – at least for now.

“The position that the Sycamore Park District took was such that, if we entered into [a joint pool agreement], it would have to be in a location that is kind of neutral,” Strack said. “DeKalb wasn’t willing to, and I respect that.”

Young confirmed that.

“We were not willing to spend any more money to buy land,” Young said. “It wasn’t an issue of each town having its own views ... We have a very good relationship with the Sycamore Park District.”

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