DIXON – Supporters of renovating Veterans Memorial Pool preached patience Wednesday.
The community is starting to ask questions about how much the pool will cost to fix and who will be in charge of running it, and organizer Colleen Brechon told about 40 supporters that it could take another month or 2 for them to have answers.
Brechon and fellow organizer Marilyn Trulock said they are meeting with an architectural firm Friday and a lawyer next week.
The historic pool has been closed for about a dozen years and a handful of efforts to reopen it have fallen short.
Trulock held up a copy of the July 25 Telegraph with an article on the front page about the Dixon Park District board discussing a referendum for pool renovations.
The article said park board members will wait to see what Trulock and supporters decide within their group before putting anything up for vote. However, an advisory referendum was discussed by the park board as a possibility at some point.
“Property taxes are off the table completely for us,” Trulock said Wednesday. “We’re not talking about a referendum now. Property taxes are too high now.”
Brechon said the park board likely discussed an advisory referendum for possible property tax increases, in case that option comes into play regarding operations.
Trulock said having a separate commission created to operate the pool with a representative from the park board has been suggested. Still, that’s just an idea.
Brechon said there is no plan in place yet, until she and Trulock talk with lawyers and architects to figure out what’s possible.
“We need to slow down a bit,” Brechon said. “Everyone wants an answer right away, but let’s be patient.”
The pool is owned by the park district, but park board members said earlier this month that they will cooperate with efforts to reopen the pool.
War veteran Ted Trulock said he is saddened by the shape the pool is in.
“That’s a beautiful tribute to veterans,” Trulock said. “I’d love to see something with Veterans Memorial attached to it stand up to it.”
County Market is hosting a cookout Aug. 17 to raise funds for pool renovations, and Dixon Iron & Metal, 78 Monroe Ave., also said it will create a pool account for customers wishing to donate.
Brechon said the group has about $18,000 in an account at Midland State Bank left over from the last effort to reopen the pool.
One man in attendance said more information has to be shared before the group can expect to collect donations from community members.
“Talking fundraisers without a plan yet is not a good idea,” he said.
Brechon agreed, saying the fundraisers, so far, are organized by people or businesses who have asked to donate.