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LADC to consider request for pool design

| October 8, 2004 12:00 AM

By Brent Shrum Western News Reporter

The Libby Area Development Co. has agreed to consider a $20,000 request to fund a design plan for a public swimming pool at a formal meeting scheduled for Oct. 20.

Tom Horelick, a member of the committee working on the swimming pool issue, presented the LADC board with a briefing of the request during an informal meeting Wednesday morning. Horelick said the committee needs $15,000 for the study, which if completed by Jan. 1 would allow the question of funding the construction of a pool through a mill levy to be placed on the spring ballot. An additional $5,000 would be used for promotion and other costs related to the ballot measure, Horelick said.

The currently projected price tag of the pool — and the potential mill levy — is around $1.5 million. The levy request would be put to voters in the Libby Parks District, which covers the same area as the school district. If funding is secured, the project would take about a year and a half to complete, Horelick said.

³We need professional help to get this going,² he said.

LADC board member Pat Pezzelle asked Horelick to explain how a pool would meet the economic development requirements of the fund the LADC oversees. Employers and individuals considering relocating to Libby would see the pool as an amenity, Horelick said.

³Pools are definitely helpful in economic development, without a doubt,² he said.

In other business, the LADC board accepted the resignation of board member Mike Munro and discussed a proposal to transfer the guarantee of two loans to the now-defunct Libby Woodworks to the owner of Quality Oakwood Furniture, who has taken over the business¹s equipment.

The LADC and the Libby City Council approved a $100,000 loan guarantee for Libby Woodworks in the fall of 2002. The business failed after about a year and a half, Kootenai River Development Council director Paul Rumelhart told the LADC on Wednesday.

³It kind of turned into a collection situation most of the time,² he said.

Libby Woodworks owner Ora Miller and his family have agreed to pay $20,000 to bring the loans current, which will leave about $68,500 owed, Rumelhart told the LADC board. He proposed a new financing package with $31,500 being returned to the LADC fund and the remainder of the original $100,000 being used to guarantee five-year loans to Quality Oakwood Furniture owners Tony and Chris Schloss.

The Schlosses have orders to fill and authorization to use the former Libby Woodworks equipment, which has been moved from property formerly leased by that business to a building on former Stimson mill site now owned by the Lincoln County Port Authority.

The LADC board agreed to review the proposal for submission to the Libby City Council for approval as soon as an updated business plan is available.