Rifle Rapport column: WANTED — 50 years of pool memories
Were you living in Rifle in 1969 when the pool was built? Did you take part in the planning or construction? Do you have photos from the past 50 years?
As the Art Dague Pool heads toward its half century mark and significant renovations, an effort is being made to create and preserve a record of this amazing amenity. A search through local records reveals surprisingly limited coverage of what must have been a significant event for the town of 2,000 people.
Parks and Recreation Director Tom Whitmore wants to change that. He is hoping to compile memories and photos of the past 50 years and create a permanent record of the history. A public reception will be held at the Ute Theater at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8. Hors d’oeuvres will be available, and the concessions will be open.
According to Whitmore, “[W]e are hoping to gather former employees, former Metro Park District board members and/or their family members, and anyone who has fond memories of days at the pool.”
He notes that, “the existence of Metro Park was due to the efforts of volunteers and collaboration of community members. It is important to gather history and acknowledge those who contributed. This should be a fun event where we can pass the microphone, hear some history about the pool and hear stories from people who were involved with the pool through the years.”
So, come out and share your stories and bring your pictures. Help preserve Rifle’s past for future generations.
NO NEW TAXES
During the event, attendees can also view the final images for the renovations scheduled to begin next month.
So how are these improvements being funded? The answer goes all the way back to a very forward-thinking 2005 1% “Penny Working for You” sales tax, which led to the creation of the Parks and Recreation Fund.
That fund was used, in part, to assist in the construction of the Parks Maintenance Facility. A loan obtained for that was paid off in 2018. In 2017, voters approved a ballot question that authorized the city of Rifle to borrow money for the pool project.
“We are very successful at paying off our loans,” commented Whitmore. Money being used to pay that loan will now be available to make payments on the pool with help from the city’s Capital Fund and other funding sources, including a $500,000 grant from Garfield County Federal Mineral Lease District and a Great Outdoors Colorado grant for $217,500. Taxpayers will not be affected.
Citizens are encouraged to come to the celebration on Aug. 8. It will be a fun evening for the entire family. And, of course, don’t forget to bring those old Polaroids or Super 8 films of you in your 1960s swimwear.
Rifle Rapport is a periodic article featuring the people and projects of the City of Rifle. If you have suggestions for future articles, please contact city of Rifle Public Information Officer Kathy Pototsky at 970-665-6420 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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