Cascade Prepares for New Pool

CASCADE, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- People in Cascade would have to go back to 1967 to remember when the public pool in Cascade was opened for the first time.

51 years later, Cascade voters are overwhelmingly in favor of replacing it.

People voted 364 yes to 30 no to spend $2 million of taxpayer money to replace the Second Avenue pool.

TV9 compared the total cost of $2.4 million to other eastern Iowa cities.

In Dubuque, two public pools at Flora Park and Sutton Pool cost between $1.7 and $2 million each to build in the 1990s.

Recently in Guttenberg, voters approved a new 5,800 square foot pool- estimated to cost more than $4 million.

Those in Cascade say it actually made the most fiscal sense to replace the pool entirely.

"We looked at a repair option a couple years ago," said Deanna McCusker, City Administrator for the City of Cascade. "That went out of bids and everything that came back at a million dollars. At that point, the city council said: 'hey, wait a minute- we don't want to spend a million dollars on repairs.'"

McCusker said the difference between reconstruction and a total replacement was $400,000, saying the city council realized at that point the decision was a "no-brainer."

In the past, the pool has had infrastructure concerns, between cracks in the foundation and in the piping system.

After reviewing the costs of repairs, reconstruction, and replacement, the decision to replace seemingly was an easy one for the city council.

Those with the city say once plans are finalized and presented, the Council needs to approve it, and so does the Iowa Department of Public Health.

"Once we get that, then we will work on the grant, we will work on finalizing everything, putting the plans together," McCusker said. "We're hoping to go out for bids in January. And then we will start construction in early August of next year."

McCusker said the city has already reserved $600,000 for the project, which will help kick-start the program.

This new pool is expected to last 50 years, while the current one would only last half that time if they fixed it.

The pool is open for this year and the next year as the plans become finalized and approved.

The vote of approval from Cascade voters means the city cannot spend more than $2 million of taxpayer money for the project.

McCusker said the city is researching grant opportunities to help reduce the cost before construction begins in August 2019. They plan to have the pool completed and open for the 2020 season.

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