Future of Colburn Pool tabled for now, to frustration of project supporters

Alderman Wery calls for study of what can be saved

GREEN BAY, Wis -- -
The future of the Colburn Park pool in Green Bay is put on hold Wednesday night, to the frustration of supporters and some city leaders.
This comes one month after Mayor Jim Schmitt's veto of a $4.5 million construction project that would bring a new Olympic-sized pool to the site.
Long time supporter of the project, and city alderman, Chris Wery was urging the Park Committee to approve spending $3,000 to develop a concept for the site based on what can be salvaged between the pool and the bath house. 
The years-long push to build a new 50-meter pool was vetoed by Schmitt in January when plans went $2 million over budget.
Since then, leaders have called and paid for three concepts to be designed for a new, smaller pool on site.
On Wednesday, the Committee voted to table a fourth concept until those plans come in mid-March.
"We're already paying our engineer to come back with three plans [for] much, much smaller pools," says Wery. "For a little bit more, we could have a 4th option. What could we renovate at the pool to keep it Olympic sized, [and] keep as much of the building as we can?"
Wery says he's frustrated by this move, because the persistent question of what can be saved won't go away.
"What if we just rehab it? Put as much into it to fix it up, and make it last, just like it were your house--could we do it for $4.5 million," asks Wery, "because then those donors might come back, because now it's still going to be Olympic length. I think it's a question worth getting answers to." 
The issue of donor funds, and what to do with them, is still up in the air, as well.
Wery fears several donors will demand their money back if a 50-meter pool concept isn't eventually chosen.
He says $100,000 have already been returned to the Ho-Chunk Nation, and the city likely currently lacks funds to repay every donor.


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