Elgin Pool Committee Making Progress

Members of the Elgin Pool Committee met last week with Dave Burbach of Burbach Aquatics as steps continue to be made towards beginning the Elgin Swimming Pool Renovation Project.
On Friday, committee members were updated on the status of the project. In particular, the discussion centered on funds for the project. From the onset, the financial plan has been somewhat of a four-pronged plan with part of the funds coming from the municipal bonds to be issued, a significant gift received from the Tunink Trust, donations from the public and any matching grants or funds they can receive from other sources.
In November, Elgin residents overwhelmingly supported the city issuing municipal bonds up towards the amount of $500,000. Previous to the vote, the funds from the Tunink Trust were announced. One of the key steps now is to request donations from the general public.
Members of the committee will be making visits and sending letter requests within the next month or so. The committee reminds everyone that gifts of all sizes are welcome and appreciated!
Burbach noted, “We’ve had a lot of outpouring and support for the pool project and it is coming from all quarters of the community. It has been really quite gratifying.”
The site plan was passed out for the members showing locations of current trees, overhead and unground utilities and structures that are to remain untouched plus the old pool vessel and bath house and proposed pool vessel and new bath house. Plans are for the current mechanical building (which houses the pump, filters and heater) and city park signage to remain untouched.
Elgin Mayor Mike Schmitt questioned if the trees around the pool would need to be removed. According to Burbach, at this time only one tree will have to be removed. The remaining evergreen trees to the west, north and east of the pool will need to be trimmed back. Burbach Aquatics company policy is that, for security reasons, “the entire bath house area needs to be viewable from the street at any angle”. Therefore, the trees around the pool will be trimmed back from between one and seven feet from ground level.
Committee member Todd Heithoff asked about the soil sampling results. The majority of the soil consisted of a silt loam, “which is what we expected,” said Burbach. The results were not surprising to them because of the type of damage the existing pool has seen over the years since it was built.  “Silts are very good for farming…in my world, they are problematic. They are very susceptible to frost heave which is why the decks look the way they do around the main pool and why the bath house is all broken up.” Plans are to build up the area with an aggregate base to minimize that frost disturbance.
Some residents have questioned the tax credit process for donors.  Businesses, individuals and corporations will be eligible to receive a tax credit against taxes owed. An example of the formula is an individual giving a $2,500 donation would receive $1,000 in tax credits.
Public bidding for the pool renovation project is expected to be put out in April with the opening of bids to be in late May/early June. Work is expected to begin on the pool project once the pool closes at the beginning of August, 2016 and to be completed near the end of May, 2017.
Burbach emphasized that they encourage local contractors to bid on these projects, liking to use as many local businesses as possible.
While its been a little quiet since the election, expect to be reading and hearing more over the next few months about the project.
If you have questions, contact Todd Heithoff or Michael Moser.