The Circle of Friends received a letter from Eric Knepp, the Park Superintendent, informing us that the Warner pool was not included in the Parks 2016 Capital budget or the Capital Improvement Program for the years 2017 to 2021. No funding was included on the Executive Budget for the Warner pool as well.
It didn’t come as a surprise. We have known for some time now that there would be little or no city money. We believe we can raise the funds to build the Aquatic Health & Fitness Center that will cover the operating expenses without any taxpayer’s dollars. We are convinced the community will support a center that is open year round providing healthy exercise, affordable swimming lessons for the children, a splash pad and competitive swimming. We are basing this on the large swimming community in Dane County and the success of the RecPlex in Pleasant Prairie, WI.
The Circle of Friends has the funds and a firm lined up to do a financial feasibility study to see how much can be raised and to get community input. We have requested a letter from the Mayor, stating his support to build an Aquatic Center at Warner contingent on it requiring no city subsidy, funds to cover the first few years of gaps in operating expenses until it reaches scheduling capacity and an endowment fund to cover any unexpected expenses.
Without the support of the Mayor we cannot do a successful feasibility study. No feasibility study, no pool for several more years.
The Warner Aquatic Center will make a huge economic impact on the Northside, the City of Madison and Dane County by hosting local and regional swim meets and providing year round jobs.