For nearly 50 years, Paden City residents of all ages and visitors alike have enjoyed cooling off on hot summer days in the town's swimming pool.
The pool, located in the William Ford Park overlooking the Ohio River, was constructed in the mid-1960's and, like pools in many small towns, funded and constructed by the citizens and friends of Paden City. Over the four-plus decades since its opening, the pool has hosted thousands of children and adults who use the facility to learn to swim, meet friends to spend entire days playing, or just relaxing by the water's edge.
The pool, like many public facilities, requires ongoing maintenance and updating and tens of thousands of dollars have been spent to keep it operating efficiently and within legal guidelines.
Looking to raise funds to keep the Paden City Pool open in the future, the City, Park and Pool Commissioners and the Paden City Foundation Inc., will work together on this worthwhile project. Pictured left to right are: Marcia Toman (Commissioner); John Hopkins (Mayor of Paden City); Wade Ferrebee (Commissioner); Tom Trader (Commissioner); Ed Parsons (Park and Pool Board President); Richard Johnson (Commissioner); Tim Bidwell (Commissioner); and Rodney McWilliams (Paden City Foundation Inc., President).
The Paden City pool is presently experiencing some extraordinary repair and maintenance needs and a substantial amount of funds are needed to complete these projects.
Harkening back to the time when the community's residents were asked to pledge money to build the pool for the good of the entire town, a call is going out to raise the funds to update the pool and ensure its timely opening this coming spring.
Some of the items for repair and/or replacement include: a new roof for the poolhouse, new tiles around the pool's edge, repairing several cracks in the concrete pad to eliminate tripping hazards, and replacing the skimmers. Estimates for this list total around $80,000. The city budget includes $18,000 each year to cover the operating costs of the pool, with receipts of the pool visitors applied to the balance.
Mayor John Hopkins stated, "The daily receipts of the pool don't cover the operating costs of the pool, so the city sets aside the additional $18,000 to cover the normal operations and maintenance costs. It is very difficult for public pools to make enough money on their own to cover their costs."
He also stated that present list of repairs are above the normal maintenance items and are needed if the pool Is to open for the 2014 summer season.
The funding sources for the repairs needed will include private and public funds and grants.
Presently, the city has applied for some grant monies and anticipates receiving about $11,000.
A second grant application is being processed to request an additional $20,000 which would require a 50/50 match.
This means the city would have to match, dollar for dollar, the amount of the grant. Fund-raising is underway to help the Park and Pool Commission reach its goal and complete these projects in the next few months. Arrangements have been made to engage one of the area's major philanthropic organizations, the Paden City Foundation, Inc., to help in the effort.
A fund is being established with the foundation to collect donations from the general public to provide matching dollars for grant applications and pay for the repair items at the pool.
Foundation Treasurer Tammi Bowers noted, "The foundation is a vital component of charitable giving in any community. We can provide a means for donors to accomplish projects that might otherwise not be possible."
Rodney McWilliams, foundation president, added, "It is our mission to provide avenues for receiving and dispersing gifts for the betterment of the Paden City community and surrounding area. The Paden City Foundation is a perfect way for donors to make contributions, receive favorable tax benefits, and provide monies to projects that benefit everyone. We have established a fund just for the Pool Repair Project."
In addition, the foundation established the Compass Campaign Fund last July to raise money for community-wide projects which might include improvement in the city's park, streetscaping projects, special events for the community.
McWilliams stressed, "The Pool Repair Fund is a separate and distinct fund set up just for this specific project. The monies will be collected at the foundation and dispersed to the Park and Pool Commission for this project only. The Compass Campaign Fund is a longer-term fund that will provide funding sources for on-going projects and ideas that are intended to guide the future of Paden City through improvements and cultural offerings. We are intending for the Compass Fund to be a launching pad for many future ideas that will help Paden City grow into the town it was intended. More information about the Compass Fund will be presented in the near future."
Contributions to the Pool Repair Fund can be mailed to: The Paden City Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 233, Paden City, WV 26159. Please clearly note the Pool Repair Fund on your donation.
The foundation is also accepting donations to the Compass Fund at the same address.
For more information about either of these funds or the many other funds already established with the foundation, contact Bowers at 304-337-2205 or McWilliams at 304-482-9684.
The Paden City Foundation, Inc. was established in 1987 and facilitates and manages funding for scholarships to students at Paden City High School, Magnolia High School, and Tyler Consolidated High School as well as the Paden City Public Library, Paden City Volunteer Fire Company, the Paden City Museum and Culture Center, and the PCHS Athletic and Music Programs.
The foundation is a qualifying charitable organization.