Covered Pool Partnerships Sought for Feasibility Study



Eric Niemeyer, Chief Executive Officer of High Plains Community Health Center, outlined the possibilities of developing a covered swimming pool for the Prowers County Commissioners Tuesday, January 14th. He approached the Lamar City Council in September with a memorandum of understanding to become a partner in financing a feasibility study for the project and asked if the county would be willing to share in the venture, costing approximately $15,000.

“We’re looking at four partnerships for the group and each would share the costs of the study, about $3,500. At the same time, we’re investigating a possible DoLA grant to help fund the study. Once accomplished, it could also help leverage a future GoCO grant,” he explained, adding the study, once funded, would be done in about three months.

Niemeyer said he’s been in contact with a firm in Pueblo and Colorado Springs that has considerable experience in developing these projects. “We’d like to have four entities on board for the study and have outlined the project with Lamar Community College and Prowers Medical Center and the school district is another possibility.”

He explained that each party would have its own reasons for a buy-in as High Plains would use the year-round pool for wellness and therapy concerns. “We have health coaches who could serve as life-guards and teach water aerobics and water-oriented therapy classes,” he continued. Niemeyer said he couldn’t speak specifically for each party’s interests, but the county at-large could benefit from a covered pool in different ways. “The high school could develop a PE curriculum or the college, too, could develop a swimming team. The Lamarlins can only use the Lamar pool for a brief period and have to travel to La Junta once the Lamar pool closes in mid-August.”

The current short season for pool use is one of the reasons a covered pool would be an attraction in the county for various age groups as a year-round recreational outlet.

Commissioner Ron Cook asked about funding additional expenses for an engineering study. Niemeyer replied there would probably be a need for a separate means to pay that, but the Pueblo firm could probably ball-park a close estimate based on their past experience. Cook also inquired about a study for year-round maintenance and operational costs and the option of developing a bond to pay for the actual construction of a cover. The pool is owned and operated by the City of Lamar.

Commissioner Grasmick indicated the pool could be a benefit, but would prefer to see if a grant would cover all or some of the feasibility study before committing county funds to the project. Commissioner Buxton-Andrade added the commissioners will be talking to their budget director to see if funding was an option at this point.

Niemeyer invited them to attend a meeting for all interested parties at the High Plains Center on January 27th.
By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesCountyEntertainmentFeaturedHealthRecreationTourismWater


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