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Bow breaks ground for new pool/aquatic center

April 5, 2011

It’s been a long time coming, but on Monday, April 4, the city of Broken Bow officially broke ground on a new swimming pool and aquatic center. The citizens of Broken Bow approved a bond for the new pool last May.
“This all started seven years ago when we had some major issues with the pool. and the water level in the pool dropped six inches during a single swim meet. Jason White and I started talking. We thought the pool only had a couple of years left,” remarked Broken Bow City Council Scott Spanel.
“It’s taken seven years to get to this point, and it hasn’t been easy. I thank God that Mother Nature took good care of us.”
That’s when the interviews with the engineers were started.
The Broken Bow City Council, with a recommendation from the park board, presented the proposal for a new swimming pool to the public during a Town Hall Meeting May 3, 2010. At that meeting, City Administrator Tony Tolstedt laid out the options.
“The council is done putting tons of money into the current facility. If the bond does not pass, the chance of this community going without a pool exists,” said Tolstedt at the time.
The bond election for the new pool was May 11, and was one of the closest elections in recent memory of Custer County voters.
The final vote was 508 FOR, 504 AGAINST. State statutes for recounts did not apply. A recount could have been requested by the petitioner, in this case the city of Broken Bow, but was not requested and the final count stood.
The current city swimming pool was constructed in 1976, with an expected life of about 20 years. After 34 years, the cost of upkeep and repairs had become prohibitive for the city, and the pool has been operating on waivers from NDHHS.
The new facility is expected to take about two years to complete, and the city is hoping to be able to keep the current pool operational until then.
The new pool will be built just north of the current facility, and will include several family friendly features such as a water slide, a zero depth entry for young children and a water playground. The city council hopes that by adding these features more local families will take advantage of the pool.
Broken Bow Park Board President Joe Shea offered a set of congratulations from the Park Board and told a little about the pool ... “It will be really shallow over here, and really deep over there. I’m excited to see how this will all fill out over the spring and summer.”
The approved bond for the facility was for $3,250,000 for a period of 20 years. The final cost of the project cannot exceed that amount.
Tolstedt congratulated the park board and council on their hard work, and the community on the facility.
“This will help the community stay competitive. This is going to be a great facility,” he said.

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