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Algonac seeks $1 million grant for new pool

Photo courtesy of City of Algonac/YouTube Members of the Algonac City Council unanimously approved a resolution to seek a $1 million grant for a new city pool.

By Barb Pert Templeton

Officials in Algonac moved closer to seeing plans for a new city pool taking shape as they formally adopted a resolution to seek a $1 million grant for the project. 

A Nov. 15 meeting had the council unanimously approving the submission of a grant application to the Michigan DNR through there SPARK Grant program for the swimming pool at Lions Field. 

Introducing Resolution 2022-14, Mayor Rocky Gillis explained that the SPARKS grants are awarded for projects that support safe, accessible public recreation facilities and spaces to improve recreational experiences, rebuild existing park infrastructure and promote outdoor activities.

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A total of $65 million in grant funding will be awarded ranging from a minimum of $100,000 to a maximum of $1 million dollars. The funds will be distributed in three rounds. Round One will be a $15 million distributed in Jan. 2023. Round Two will be $25 million in the spring of 2023 and Round Three will be $25 million in the summer of 2023.

It was also noted that all projects awarded the grant funding must be completed by Dec. of 2026. 

Council member Dawn Davey asked City Manager Denice Gerstenberg when the grant application would be submitted. Gerstenberg said the application deadline is Dec. 19.

“And we’ll be doing that soon within the next couple of weeks or just before?” Davey asked. 

Photo courtesy of bluewater.org
The former city pool, located next to the Lions Field in Algonac, closed in July 2020.

“We are working on it as we speak, we need this resolution and a couple additional documents but we will definitely have it in by the deadline, it’s all electronically submitted,” Gerstenberg replied.

The grant application requires the government body adopt a formal resolution seeking the funding. 

The estimated construction costs associated with the project is $1.7 million. The city was awarded a $300,000 grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund in Dec. 2021. 

In a memo to the city council from City Manager Denice Gerstenberg, it was stated that plans for the swimming pool were prepared by architect George Hartman with additional input from the city council, the Algonac Pool Advisory Committee, residents and staff members. 

The pool will be the same size as the existing pool. Amenities planned include swimming lanes for exercise and local swim teams, a deep end, a zero-entry area with water features, heated pool water, new parameter fencing, a new pool equipment building, new decks, ramps and rails.

This blurb on the city’s website explains the status of the pool to date:

The city’s original 178,000-gallon pool was built in 1957. Due to severe water loss, the pool was closed in July, 2020.  With repair costs estimated to exceed $250,000, a Pool Advisory Committee was formed to review the needs of the community and the features that a new pool would need to accommodate those needs.  Members of the Pool Advisory Committee were solicited via city newsletter and Facebook.  They held electronic meetings on February 16, 2021 and February 22, 2021.  Members included residents Gale Anthony, Diane Chimielewski, Lisa Clark, Angela Rochon, Melissa Walczak, and City Manager Denice Gerstenberg, Fire Chief Joe Doan, DPW Foreman Joe Vernier and Architect George Hartman.  Information gathered was used by the architect to draft a proposal for City Council.  

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