City looking for match for $98K pool grant

The City of Warren has been awarded a $98,500 grant from the state for renovations at the municipal swimming pool.

The problem?

That’s only half the cost of the project and the city is on the hook for the other half as a match for the grant.

Where that funding will come from has yet to be nailed down.

City Planner David Hildebrand told the city’s Parks and Planning Commission this week that the city has been awarded a grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for renovations to the restroom-lifeguard building at the pool.

Some of the upgrades included in the proposal are renovated restrooms and lifeguard room, new doors and windows, work on the downspouts and a new hot water heater and furnace.

Hildebrand said total estimated cost for the project is $197,000.

“The state of Pennsylvania is picking up half of it,” he said.

“The thought is to have it designed, bid and ready to go (to) start the day the pool closes this fall,” said city Department of Public Works Director Mike Holtz, and to have the project “all wrapped up before winter really hits.”

“This is our fourth DCNR grant that we have been awarded,” said Hildebrand. “(We) seem to be in the good graces of DCNR.”

“As soon as we get the money, we are getting the work done,” said Commission Chairman Dennis Crandall. “That is what they like to see.”

But for the project to be completed, the city will have to find nearly $100,000 on its own.

In lean budget times, that’s no easy task.

To those ends, City Administrator Mary Ann Nau said she has met with the Community Foundation of Warren County and is interested in getting the municipal pool into Warren Gives, the online donation event that the Foundation rolled out for the first time in 2013.

Nau said that the goal is to raise $50,000 in funding, which would leave the city on the hook for just $50,000 of the total project. “This would not impact the city’s ability to go put other projects in front of the Community Foundation,” she said.

She said that the city will be looking to form a special committee to spread the word that the pool project is part of the Warren Gives event.