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Warner Aquatic Health & Fitness Center may be stalled again

Pool

By Dorothy Borchardt
Circle of Friends

The Circle of Friends (CoF) is still waiting to hear from Mayor Paul Soglin about the letter he promised in support of the pool at Warner Park. According to an article by Lisa Speckhard Pasque in The Capital Times, we may be stalled again.

The article states Mayor Soglin will not send the promised letter of support for the Warner pool at this time because it would interfere with “plans for renovations and expansion of the existing facility.” The mayor has not told the CoF this. As users of the Warner Park Community Recreation Center (WPCRC), the CoF is very aware of the need for additional meeting and fitness rooms and included them in our plan. The mayor could wait for an aquatic and fitness center and add them at that time. If he goes ahead with the addition now, it should not be placed on the pool site and the CoF should get the letter (promised months ago) so we can do the feasibility study to see if we can raise the funds for the Aquatic Health & Fitness Center.

The article also states there is “no funding” and “there would have to be an extensive site analysis.” The CoF knows there is no city funding, that is why we need to do the feasibility study. A site analysis was done before the WPCRC was built to make sure the site would support a pool. The city may want to do an updated site analysis, but do they need an “extensive analysis?” If so, put money in the budget and do it. The city finds money for other projects.

If the feasibility study finds we will not be able to raise the $20 million all at one time, the aquatic center could be built in stages. An outdoor Olympic-sized pool would be the first stage of reaching the goal of an indoor pool. If planned properly, it can be enclosed in the second stage, with a warm water therapy pool added as funds are available.

The Northside needs our alders to get involved and support the Aquatic Health & Fitness Center, instead of meeting in secret with staff to tell us what we need. Other alders are out fighting for their constituents and money was added to the budget for their projects. We aren’t asking for city funding. We are asking only for support from our elected representatives.

Since the mayor and our alders do not respond to us, we may have to hold our own public hearings to let the public’s views be heard and to let our elected officials know what a great asset the Aquatic Health & Fitness Center would be to our community. Go Northside!

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