Two locations under consideration for pool site
The Merrill Park and Recreation Commission is exploring the costs and logistics of locating a new outdoor aquatic center at either Stange’s Park or the Merrill Area Recreation Complex.
A potential site at Lion’s Park has been ruled out due to floodplain issues. DNR and FEMA rules would not allow construction of a pool or anything else on that site due to it being in a floodway.
The commission is considering construction at the site of the current outdoor pool in Stange’s Park. That location does have some concerns, being located in a “flood fringe.”
“The location at Stange’s Park does allow for construction, but with certain stipulations and flood-proofing measures,” said Merrill Park and Recreation Director Dan Wendorf.
There is room for the proposed facility within the flood fringe at Stange’s Park, Wendorf added, without getting into the floodway of the Prairie River.
The site being considered at the MARC lies to the north of the Smith Center. There are no flooding concerns at the MARC, so costs would likely be less than at Stange’s Park. Input from the community has shown a preference to keep the pool facility near the center of town, however.
“The Park and Recreation Commission is very sensitive to the fact that the public wants to see something centrally located in our community,” Wendorf said. “We need to balance that with what we can realistically afford.”
The commission has directed Wendorf to get cost estimates for constructing the pool facility at both sites and bring them some numbers by the end of the year.
“They will have to weigh the costs,” he said. “The taxpayers are the ones that will help us make this decision.”
A proposed location at Streeter Square is no longer being considered due to the limited size of the site and the location close to busy streets and residential neighborhood.