City will seek help with pool costs

Warren City Council has approved a contract with an engineering firm to develop specifications for upcoming renovations at the Warren Municipal Pool.

During its Monday meeting, council unanimously approved an agreement with R.W. Larson and Associates to complete the design work for upgrades to the restroom and lifeguard house.

Department of Public Works Director Mike Holtz said that the goal is to “start the work the day after Labor Day.” He said the work should take 6-8 weeks “so it will be good to go for next pool season,” he said.

City administration informed the Parks and Recreation Commission that the city had been awarded a $98,500 grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for the project. Total cost of the project, though, is estimated at $197,000.

City Manager Nancy Freenock said the city’s match portion of the grant was included in the budget, “but during budget discussions, staff indicated that it would be approaching the community and various foundations to help with the match component.”

The engineering fees, Freenock noted, will be paid for outside of the grant. Total cost for the design work is a lump sum payment of $16,000 unless, according to Freenock, “the scope of services is expanded.”

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.

As for the matching funds, City Administrator Mary Ann Nau told the commission that 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.