‘Wonderful things are happening’: Voters support Marengo pool project

Supporters of a new municipal swimming pool in Marengo celebrate a successful referendum Tuesday, Sept. 13. The public measure to approve funding for the pool passed by approximately 73 to 27 percent. (Photo courtesy of Allison Schlabach)

This artist’s rendering shows the design of the Marengo aquatics center. Groundbreaking is planned for spring of 2023 with completion by the summer of 2024. (Courtesy graphic)

MARENGO — Grab your sunscreen and beach towel. Summers at the town swimming pool are one big step closer to reality.

Marengo City Public Measure D, approving the issuance of $3.8 in debt for a new pool, received overwhelming support from voters at the Sept. 13 special election. The unofficial vote was 428 in favor and 158 against, or 73 percent versus 27 percent. The measure required 60 percent to pass.

The pool, which will be built between the city hall and Iowa Valley Elementary School, will replace the city’s existing pool, which has been closed for the last several years. The new aquatics center will include a splash pad, pool, waterslide, diving board and concession stand.

“We are elated at the vote results,” said Barb McMeen, a member of the pool committee. “The high voter turnout for the referendum and the overwhelming majority supporting it shows just how important Marengo residents feel a pool is for our town. Our committee spoke with many people in the course of getting to this point and one of the things we heard over and over was that ‘living’ at the pool in the summer as a child was one of their happiest memories. They wanted that for their children and grandchildren.”

“I’m very excited that the community stepped up to get this passed,” said Marengo Mayor Adam Rabe. “It’s a huge step in moving Marengo forward. There are many initiatives and a ton of energy developing to make Marengo an even better place to live and the pool is a major piece of this movement.”

The next phase in the pool process is for the city council to approve a scope and fee for design and construction administrative services, the mayor said. He anticipates this item being ready for the Sept. 28 council meeting. He noted the city will also be working with JEO Consulting and the local fundraising team on grants.

“We have already received pledges of financial support from a number of residents, Iowa Valley alumni and Marengo businesses and we will be seeking further contributions and grants that will help us reach our goal,” McMeen said. “Wonderful things are happening in Marengo right now. There has been a reawakening of community pride, an attitude of forward thinking, and a spirit of working together that promise to make our town an even better place to live.”

Current donations include $250,000 from Compass Memorial Healthcare, Marengo, which has committed $50,000 per year over a span of five years.

“I would like to thank our design and fundraising committees,” Mayor Rabe said. “Their time, effort, and support to get this accomplished has been amazing.”

From late October through December, the pool design committee will meet with JEO Construction to review and finalize the site and building plans. Bidding for construction of the new pool is anticipated for April 2023 with the pool opening in May 2024 with a grand opening in July of that year.

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