Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

January 8, 2013

Push on to lap up pool funds

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — The push is still on to raise the private funds needed to complete the money package for an outdoor water park now under construction in Pauls Valley.

Members of a pool committee gathered Monday afternoon to continue their discussions on ways to raise more money as they keep “trying to bridge the gap” between the money in hand and the total needed to pay for the outdoor swimming pool project.

Efforts continue to focus on approaching organizations and larger businesses in the area with the goal being to raise enough money to complete the fundraising for the project.

Those efforts could be stretched even more as committee members are also reaching out to anyone who is able to help.

“We’ve talked about big entities in town, and I’m sure there are others,” said Jennifer Samford, referring to the fundraising campaign.

“Maybe there are people in town who would give $1,000 if we asked, but we haven’t made the plea,” she said. “If you think we should put a plea out to community leaders and homeowners - we’ve never done that.

“I think if we asked they would open up their checkbook and give. If anyone feels led to give it would help.”

The overall cost of the aquatic center project comes to around $3.6 million with most of that being paid through a $3.2 million loan over a 20-year period by the city of Pauls Valley.

With some reservations expressed at Monday’s meeting over the way the loan is set up, they did indicate the first loan payment was made in November.

Efforts to privately raise the remaining $400,000 has been ongoing for some time now.

Currently the private money collected so far, which includes $100,000 in local tourism funds, is around $265,000.

That means the effort still needs around $135,000 in donations and pledges to complete the funding.

City Manager James Frizell said during the meeting all private donations can go to city hall but they need to be designated for the pool project.

“People can make out checks to the city of Pauls Valley Pool Fund,” Samford said, adding this designation ensures the money goes for the project.

According to Frizell, the construction project itself is on schedule as the pool facility is expected to be open for business sometime this summer.

The future aquatic center will include a large swimming pool, a lazy river ride, open and closed water slides, a bowl slide and a lap and dive pool.

Once complete the pool will be a part of operations in conjunction with the Reynolds Recreation Center in Wacker Park.