SECOND POOL FORUM: Keeps ideas churning

COLUMBIA CITY — Members of the community attended a forum Saturday, held at the Peabody Pubic Library, to fill out surveys and continue voicing opinions on the future of the Burnworth Memorial Pool. “What we really want more than anything is your opinions and your ideas and feelings about where aquatics should go here in Columbia City,” said Mayor Ryan Daniel. “Based on the last forum, we had about 50 percent of individuals here were from the city and 50 percent from the county.”During the forum, members of the community suggested having an indoor pool, looking at surrounding cities to get more ideas, partnership with schools or city entities or possibly looking into seeking county support to ease the burden on the city.Daniel said a decision on whether or not to open Burnworth next year will need to be made by the park board by December. Daniel also said it would cost approximately $15,000 to open the pool just for next year.“We have limited tax dollars that need to be spread throughout different departments,” said Daniel. “As we look forward to whatever it’s going to be, obviously if we decide to build, we want something that’s a little more sustainable or at least a little more self supporting than what the pool currently is.”No official decisions have been made on the future of the pool, as the city will continue to gather input.Now that the second forum is complete, Mayor Ryan Daniel encourages community members older than 18 years who did not get a chance to attend the forums to fill out a survey at“This is a direct engagement to get a broader sample of our community’s voice. The responses from the survey, as well as the feedback we received from the pool forums, will help guide the (members of the) park board as they make these challenging decisions,” said Park Director Mark Green in a press release.The press release also reported that the survey is available online at the city or parks department websites, with paper surveys available at the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office in City Hall or at the park office at Morsches Park.The surveys will be accepted until Oct. 6. For more information, contact the parks department at 248-5180.