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Fundraising effort underway for new Sidney swimming pool


A fundraising effort is continuing in earnest to secure donations for a planned swimming pool in Sidney.

The project has been in the works for years, and the Sidney City Council has been discussing plans and specifications of the complex in recent months.

With a $5 million price tag, funding is coming from multiple sources. And now, just $330,500 stands between the pool and its full funding.

Megan McGown, the city’s economic development director, said a large grant is within reach.

A Peter Kiewit Foundation grant could provide $225,000 to the pool, but it hinges on additional community support.

McGown said in response to an initial grant application, the foundation replied it would support the project with the condition organizations, businesses and residents pitched in.

During an initial 45-day fundraising effort, more than $300,000 was raised.

The Cheyenne County Visitor’s Committee, Cabela’s, the Health Center Foundation, Sidney Regional Medical Center, Security First Bank and Insurance, Points West Bank and Insurance, American National Bank and Great Western Bank all made contributions in the first fundraising drive.

McGown said those organizations were instrumental in gaining the support of the grant foundation.

Total donations now stand at $419,500 – leaving just more than $300,000 to meet the $750,000 benchmark set by the Peter Kiewit Foundation.

“That’s $750,000 that’s not tax dollars, that’s supported by the community, that says this is a great project,” McGown said. “We’re not done, but we only need $330,000 now.”

When that challenge amount is met, the foundation will award the additional $250,000.

Besides that combined $1 million sum, $3.4 million dollars will come from the city infrastructure tax and $600,000 from the city general fund – totaling the $5 million needed for the project.

McGown discussed the status of the grant at a city council meeting last month when councilors voted in favor of a pool design project that included a lap pool, leisure pool, lazy river, water slide and other amenities.

“I really feel like the challenge grant moved the council to move to the $5 million project,” she said.

The council also considered, and rejected, other plans that had less features and a smaller water area.

“We’re getting what we wanted,” she said, “in terms of planning over the past five years. It was a big step [at the city council meeting], and I’m very grateful they voted that way.”

McGown is confident the fundraising effort will be successful.

“We will welcome contributions of any size from businesses, organizations, individuals,” she added. “We’ve had a couple of companies offer material contributions that we’re reviewing, and the Peter Kiewit Foundation will recognize some of those, so that will count toward our match.”

While McGown will soon be leaving her position as her family relocates to Brady, she said she plans to continue to be involved in the fundraising efforts since the project is close to being realized.

“This is a big project: it’s a quality of life project, it’s a recruitment tool,” she said. I’m excited. It’s been a long time, and we’re so close.”

To make a donation, contact McGown or Sidney City Clerk Geri Anthony at (308) 254-5300.


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