GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) — Plans to build a new Olympic-sized swimming pool are scrapped after the project did not get enough votes to override the mayor’s veto.
“The mayor and some council members killed the pool,” said Green Bay alderman Chris Wery.
“It was a very hard decision because we’re pulling the rug out from a lot of people who worked awful hard on this,” Green Bay Alderman Randy Scannell said.
Ald. Scannell voted against the pool.
He said using money for all parks would benefit more people.
“Very likely if we had gone forward, park projects all over the city, unless we would have gone into even deeper debt with even more bonding, just would not happen,” Scannell said.
Swimmers won’t be able to walk through the gates to a new Olympic-sized swimming pool, but city leaders said they hope to build something else in the space.
“I think we’ll do something positive for the park,” Scannell said. “Hopefully a pool, a smaller pool.”
About half of the $1 million raised by the Friends of Colburn Park Pool group were just pledges.
The money in hand is being held by the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, who will put it toward the project the city decides.
Many of those who donated for an Olympic-sized pool don’t want a smaller pool.
“We’ve heard from many donors who want their money back,” Wery said. “I’m going to ask that the city council create a special fund and if requests come in to return the money, we return it out of that fund.”
One problem is that group leaders said nearly $300,000 of that money was spent on pool designs–designs for a pool that now won’t see the light of day.
“I’m sure that those donors are very pleased to hear that their money was wasted,” said Wery.
Plans for the space are in the city’s hands. While the Friends of Colburn Park Pool group won’t dissolve leaders said it will not be active.