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Letter: Park board seeks opinions for Hopkins Pool plan

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

The DeKalb park board has committed to keeping the tradition of Hopkins Park Pool alive. Your valuable input is now sought to make our community pool the best it can be.

Perhaps you’ve already read the public announcements encouraging you to share your ideas. Maybe you’ve visited our website and submitted your thoughts via email, or perhaps you’ve opted to share your suggestions via phone call.

Or maybe, while recently shoveling (or plowing, or maneuvering around slushy puddles, or scattering salt or looking for the other mitten) your thoughts simply drifted to … SUMMERTIME.

For so many residents, summer in DeKalb is synonymous with Hopkins Park and Hopkins Pool. 

Whether you are a “once-a-summer-swimmer,” or a season-pass holder; whether your friends, or kids or grandkids or parents or grandparents have used, or intend to use Hopkins Pool, please know that the park board values your opinion.

The Board has heard the message of taxpayers … continue to provide aquatics as a recreation option, but do so without a property tax increase. The board has also acknowledged resident survey responses that rank a public pool as a top priority.

Thus, over the course of the last several years, the board has considered options and determined that a new pool in the existing Hopkins area is the best fiscal and community option. By prioritizing capital projects and aggressively pursuing grant opportunities, the board has unanimously agreed to pursue a new pool.

Commissioners have articulated the size and features they would like to see in a new pool and a draft is being designed. The board now seeks and encourages your input to improve the draft.

Of course, our new Hopkins Pool will be a balance of all our expectations within fiscal constraints. The current draft design, which includes improvements in accessibility, parking and locker rooms, is expected to cost approximately $6.5 million. As our current pool has, it is also expected to serve our community for many years.

Two public workshops are being planned: At 6:30 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. Saturday. If you are unable to attend, please offer your opinion via email or phone.

Your thoughts are important and valued. Please take time to contribute to this important recreation feature for our community. Together, let’s make Hopkins Pool the best it can be.

Joan Berkes Hanson

President, DeKalb Park District board

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