The Constitution Pipeline Community Grant Program has awarded the West Branch Recreation and Aquatic Center Committee, a subcommittee under the Town of Delhi, a $25,000 grant for the construction of the community swimming pool. Under the expertise of Lori Paulson, a long time member of the Pool Committee and Grant Manager for Delaware County Economic Development, the application for consideration was submitted. Since 2008, Paulson has worked diligently to explore possible grants to assure the community could experience the summer recreational opportunities provided by a swimming pool, a facility which was once the focal point for summer activities in the greater Delhi area. It was in 1950 that a group of energetic and optimistic residents, much like today’s Pool Committee, fundraised for a community swimming pool on Sheldon Drive. That original group included the current Pool Committee’s Chairman Bill Oles whose business savvy paved the way from 2003 until 2011 when he stepped down due to health issues. Their venture gave this community a swimming pool that lasted 50 years. This present Pool Committee has every intention of doing the same!
The Pool Committee has been notified by the New York State Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation Agency that the plans and bid specifications package for the community swimming pool has been reviewed and approved. The quicker than expected letter of acceptance from Parks and Rec can most surely be due to the dedicated and thorough development of these plans and specifications by Pool Committee member, Chris Maney. What was advised by the agency to take weeks took just three days. Lori Paulson, Delaware County Economic Development, and member of the Pool Committee, has been the guiding force in navigating the many steps to satisfy Parks and Rec procedures to guarantee the $200,000 grant awarded 4 years ago.
This good news means the pool project is ready to go out to bid and that the ground breaking ceremonies will take place this Fall. It has been through the vision and leadership of the Pool Committee founder, Wilbur S. Oles, that this project is now close to becoming a reality. The Pool Committee has never wavered from staying focused and dedicated to Mr. Oles’ belief that this greater area’s residents and visitors deserve the chance to again have the recreational pleasures that a swimming pool offers, that there is a center where families and friends can socially interact in a healthy and positive way.
This Spring the Village of Delhi Planning Board approved the West Branch Recreation and Aquatic Center pool site plans. This was soon after the NYS Health Department approved and stamped the pool plans authorizing the committee to move forward in the project. Passing the detailed inspection by the DOH is a major hurdle. And, they will continue to monitor the project and inspect the facility on a regular basis for as long as the swimming pool is in operation. The Planning Board completed and approved the SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review) which indicated a negative declaration/impact to the environment. This step gives the committee the authorization to break ground. Immediately afterwards, the pool plans and necessary paperwork were sent to the New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Agency for their final review phase of approval. Their official approval is a requirement for the committee to be assured of the $200,000 grant awarded 4 years ago.
With help from the Architectural Engineer, Ben Hanbicki, who incorporated the committee’s wish list into a design 8 years ago and additional help from members of the committee, the bid specs are near completion. The Pool Committee, under the wing of the Town of Delhi, expects to bid out, if all goes well, before the summer is over.
Through dialogue and negotiation, several entities within the community agreed where the safest route to the swimming pool should be. The Pool Committee is elated and appreciative to all who made this driveway entry to the pool possible. It will assure safe and direct access to the pool for all who want to enjoy the many recreational and social opportunities the swimming pool offers.
So are we there yet? The Pool Committee believes we are pretty close!!
The Town of Delhi Pool Committee was notified on February 26th by Senator Bonacic of a $100,000 grant for the community swimming pool project. Bonacic has been a long time supporter of this project. He first recognized the recreational need for this area back in 2005 with a grant to develop the engineering plans for the pool. Bill Oles, President at that time of the West Branch Recreation and Aquatic Center Committee (the formal name of this project) knew the importance of asking our elected officials for financial support as well as, giving a public voice to the need to have safe recreational opportunities for our rural communities. This is an exciting catalyst which will undoubtedly guarantee that groundbreaking will occur this year. Thank you, Mr. Bonacic!!