Sycamore residents petition for new community pool

Sycamore Park District officials gauging public support for referendum to build new facility

Sycamore community pool sits unused on Feb. 15, 2024, as it has since Sycamore Park District officials decided to pull the plug on the 40-year-old facility in August 2022, after a decade of operating at a loss.

SYCAMORE – Sycamore residents are calling for a return of summer pool days, while Sycamore Park District officials said they are seeking to gauge resident support for a referendum to build a new pool.

A petition urging the Park District to build a new community pool had garnered 255 signatures as of 4:58 p.m. Thursday.

Sycamore resident Melinda Bojovic said she began gathering signatures for the initiative in January.

“I see the need for a new community pool in our growing town,” she wrote on the petition’s webpage. “Our children and families need a place where they can swim, play and enjoy the outdoors during our hot summers. Currently, there is no public pool available for our community members to use.”

Sycamore Park District’s 40-year-old pool closed early for the year in August 2022 because of equipment failure. Three months later, district officials announced the facility would be permanently shuttered.

At the time, district officials said they didn’t believe building a new pool would be a fiscally responsible use of park district and taxpayer funds, according to a Park District announcement. No plans for a new community pool have come to light since.

Jonelle Bailey, Sycamore Park District executive director, said nothing has changed since the pool closed.

“Its closing was always a part of the Board’s five-year 2020-2025 long-range plan, Sustaining the Legacy 2025, and we kept the facility open as long as feasibly and financially possible,” Bailey wrote in an email to the Daily Chronicle.

The community pool was run at a financial loss over its final 11 years of operation, according to Sycamore Park District documents.

“The Board is currently working on the next long-range plan which will kick off in 2025. The process begins with a community-wide survey this spring that includes questions meant to gauge residents’ support of a referendum to build a new pool,” Bailey wrote.

Bailey encouraged interested residents to learn about the district’s long-rang planning and attend Sycamore Park District Board meetings. Meetings are held at 6 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month in the Sycamore Golf Club Clubhouse, 940 E. State St.

“We understand that there are individuals who feel strongly that Sycamore should have a pool and invite them to speak with us to express those concerns and have their questions answered,” Bailey wrote.

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