Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Citizens in Action

[From the Grandview-Emerson Neighborhood Association (GENA) and Save Memorial Pool La Crosse, Wisconsin.This is an excerpt from a press release. Read the whole thing at the petition website. Here is an example of citizens organizing and making sure their voices, their plans, their priorities are heard in city planning. An important historic and neighborhood center and small business anchor is on the way to being saved and improved thanks to prompt and determined action led by the people of the neighborhood (but supported by the whole community - see below!). Already the closure of this pool - for more than a year and a half - has had harmful effects on small businesses nearby. The Eagle's Nest is closed and two other adjacent cafes have said the drop in summer business has hurt.]

LA CROSSE, WI – Grandview-Emerson Neighborhood Association (GENA) continues its efforts to revitalize Veterans Memorial Municipal Pool after over a year and a half of closure. Thanks to a successful campaign for a community-funded study by Isaac Sports Group (ISG), the GENA Memorial Pool Committee has shared ISG’s report & recommendations to 6 different groups, including GENA, the public, City Budget Planning Committee, City Finance & Personnel Committee, City Pool Committee, & City Park Board. Future meetings with the City Heritage Preservation Commission, neighborhood associations, La Crosse School District, UWL, & interested donors are also in the works for additional feedback & support.

GENA is pleased with recent progress working with the City Pool Committee as well as City Parks & Recreation staff and extends its appreciation. GENA gives special thanks to the over 200 people who contributed to the study fundraiser, surpassing the original $6,000 goal, which has allowed ISG to conduct additional analysis of a renovated pool & bathhouse at the historic site. Further research is underway on new programming options & unique pool features to meet today’s modern aquatic needs that increase attendance and keep the City’s operation costs lower than the initial Burbach Aquatics proposal to restore Memorial Pool.

Consultants have found, 
* The current Memorial Pool site is top ranked
* The demand for an outdoor recreation pool is higher than that for an indoor pool or for an outdoor aquatic center

The GENA Committee has further noted that City efforts of neighborhood revitalization, preserving vital historic landmarks, supporting local businesses and their transportation vision (valuing greater access by mass transit or without a vehicle) provide additional support for ranking the Memorial site #1. Work by the GENA Committee continues and they are welcoming new members, in or outside of GENA, to join.

All community members are asked to help in the following ways:
1. Share your testimonials, historic research and pictures of Memorial Pool by emailing: genalacrosse@gmail.com or posting on Facebook
2. Stay engaged – attend meetings, read news & join our Facebook Page: Save Memorial Pool
3. Converse with neighbors, City Council Members & Candidates, City Officials, & the City Pool Committee Members
4. Consider pledging to a pool at Memorial and share your ideas for potential donors and foundations who share our vision for Veterans Memorial Municipal Pool
5. Lastly – continue to get involved in aquatics for all the health and wellness benefits for you & the entire community

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