Petition for referendum being circulated for Caledonia aquatic center


By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus


Built in 1956, the existing pool in Caledonia is 58 years old. It is outmoded, has structural problems and leaks water.

“The outdated current pool has caused declining attendance,” said Mary Mell.

Spring Grove is inviting Caledonia swimmers to ride a free bus each Tuesday over to the Spring Grove pool, something that could further impact the Caledonia attendance.

“The baby pool has been closed since 2009 due to a faulty filtering system,” said Mell. “The pool is also not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

In addition, the pool house is in poor condition and outdated and inefficient plumbing, lighting and recirculation pumps are also problems.

So Mell, and others, are circulating a petition for the city to consider a Caledonia Aquatic Center.

The original cost of the project was projected to be $1.4 million.

This included zero depth entry, but only included the arch jet feature in the zero depth entry and also utilized the nearly 60 year old pool infrastructure.

However, it was discovered that much of that infrastructure, particularly the condition of the plumbing, is unusable.

The referendum amount of $1.9 million includes all new pool infrastructure, as well as many water features such as two diving boards, a climbing wall, a water slide, a tower, water dome, three bubblers, a tot slide, night lighting, shade structures, green space, furniture, an all new concession stand and lap area.

“These features will attract families, groups and visitors,” noted Mell.



So what everyone is asking is “How will passing this referendum affect my taxes?

For a referendum of $1.9 million, taxes on a home in the city of Caledonia will increase approximately $96 a year for ten years.

“That is just over 25¢ a day,” said Mell.

$841,200 has been pledged to the project as of April 1, 2014. Of that, $562,061 has been collected.

Donors have three years to fulfill their pledges.

“Financial gifts have been generous,” said Mell. “Coming from civic, social, youth and philanthropic groups as well as businesses, memorial gifts, and others. We’ve had donations from over 300 individuals and families.”

If you’d like to sign the petition for a referendum, contact Mary Mell.