Pool drive not out of hot water yet

by Greg Masse
Post Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The Community Center aquatic center fund-raising drive is set to receive another $750,000 as part of the city’s $12 million loan for a golf course and other recreational amenities.

But will that money come too late to pick up a lagging drive to raise funds for the center?

Before the city gets the loan, a golf course design must be drawn up and receive Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council approval. The process likely will take until September.

To beat the clock, City Council will consider at its May 15 meeting whether to approve $750,000 for the pool from another source – such as landfill revenues – and pay the money back when the loan comes through.

City Manager Mike Copp and Let’s All Pledge fund-raising chairwoman Terri Miller said that in reality, the only money in danger of being lost with a delay in the loan was donated by businesses and citizens in the community – money that Miller said she doubts would be rescinded – and the original $750,000 donated by the city when the drive first began.

Individuals’ pledge money could be in danger is because each pledge form stated that if the aquatic center isn’t under construction by June 30, 2003, donors could take their money back.

“But I don’t see anybody rescinding their pledge,” Miller said.

The other jeopardized donation – the original $750,000 pledged by City Council – has the same cutoff date of June 30, but Copp said that’s a city-imposed deadline and it can be pushed back.

Grants from the Gates Foundation, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and the Aspen Valley Community Foundation have spending deadlines of 2004 or later.

As of Monday, the LAP drive had collected $1,815,000. That’s about 57 percent of the $3.2 million needed to construct the pool and aquatic center. If council gives the latest $750,000 donation final approval, the drive will be at 80 percent of the $3.2 million goal.

But Miller says there’s another reason to get the city’s second pledge soon.

The sooner the LAP drive gets the city’s $750,000, the sooner some potential donors will hand over their money. She thinks some businesses and individuals have been waiting to donate money because the drive was far from reaching its goal and its final outcome was uncertain.

With the city’s most recent pledge, Miller said the drive will need $630,000 to have enough money to build the aquatic center.

“We’re looking for everybody to come forward and do their pledges now,” Miller said. “All those businesses and people who took the wait-and-see attitude, it’s time to come forward.”

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

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