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WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 12, 2012, 09:07 PM

Community steps up to save an important part of summertime

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- When looking for summertime fun, it's a sure bet, a go-to move for any parent looking to get the children out of the house; the local pool. The second the East Grand Forks pool went in danger of closing, the community stepped up.

By: Christine Boggy, WDAZ, WDAY

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- When looking for summertime fun, it's a sure bet, a go-to move for any parent looking to get the children out of the house; the local pool. The second the East Grand Forks pool went in danger of closing, the community stepped up.

Today the first major fundraiser for a group looking to save an important part of summertime. After city council members voted against repairs for the East Grand Forks pool saying residents wouldn't be able to afford the 8% hike in property taxes, the Save Our Pool Committee, also know as S.O.P is now working with the city to consider other options and come up with a new plan.

Melody Olstad: "They are going to look at options for the pool. It might not just be a renovation, they're going to look at all kinds of options and they've asked us to be a part of that."

Council members are in favor of the S.O.P trying to raise funds. They want to keep the pool open, it's just a matter of how the numbers are going to come together they're hoping the S.O.P can help.

Jon Heffernan: "What we're doing is trying to help the city and offset some expenses just to make it possible to get this done."

Melody Olstad: "The city is behind this project one-hundred percent and it's just looking at ways to get it done, look at different options to get this done"

Whatever option that's finally chosen will require money from outside sources such as donations, grants and fundraisers, which is why the S.O.P is out here selling these t-shirts for ten dollars a piece today.

Melody Olstad: "This is our first major fundraiser as a group, Hugo's has generously donated all the proceeds from this picnic to save our pool."

But the S.O.P and Hugo's aren't the only ones wanting to save this pool.

Ron Pfennig: "I feel it'd be a good thing for East Grand Forks and for the kids to have fun and have somewhere to go."

Collin Peterson: "I want to keep this pool open because it's fun and I get to make new friends".

Katie Heffernan: "This is the only pool in East Grand Forks and I want it to stay open."

The S.O.P isn't sure how much they will need to raise yet, but they're first thought at a goal was somewhere around 500,000. They won't, however, have exact numbers until a final plan in put into place. In the meantime, Mayor Stauss is committed to keeping the pool open using the annual upkeep budget.

The S.O.P hopes to have a plan in place by the end of September.

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