O'Connor Foundation Saves the Pool Project

On  Tuesday, January 9th, at the Delhi Town Board meeting, the status of the Swimming Pool Project was presented by Councilman Al Perkins.   He summarized the Pool Committee's efforts over the years to bring a swimming pool to the greater Delhi community and shared the present issues the committee is facing. He indicated that with the construction bids in, the Pool Committee has a $157,000 funding shortfall to address in order to move forward with the low bidder. The Town Board and the Pool Committee are now left with some touch decisions. The floor was open to public comment and questions .  Numerous citizens expressed that the swimming pool project not be abandoned, that there was a need for a community swimming pool  and were frustrated, wondering why it had to take so many years.

The Town Board listened, shared their obligation to the taxpayers and noted the most immediate needs of the town of Delhi. The future of the project was looking grim.  Perkins was interrupted by a phone call. He requested a five minute recess. Moments after the meeting resumed and the public comment allowed all who wished to speak, Perkins announced that the phone call had been from the O'Connor Foundation. They had just pledged another $200,000 to help assure that the project could move toward completion. After cheers and signs of relief from all in attendance, Perkins made the motion to send the low construction bid package to the NYS Parks and Rec for their required review. Once that process is complete, the Town Board will  vote to award the bid. Assuming they get a positive response from Parks and Rec., construction of the swimming pool would begin this Spring.


BIDS FOR THE SWIMMING POOL AND POOL HOUSE CONSTRUCTION WILL BE OPENED on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at the Delhi Town Board meeting. This brings our pool project one step closer to having a swimming pool in our community. Please attend to participate in this event. The opinions of our community matter. Share your thoughts with any Pool Committee member.

Pool Project Goes Out To Bid

Dreams do come true!

On October 14th, the pool project went out to bid. This brings our community’s dream of having a pool one step closer to being a reality! The greater Delhi area can
once again ride, walk or pedal to join friends and families at a new swimming pool. That means a long summer season of great exercise and more opportunities to socialize and have fun.

In August, the Department of Health approved the engineering documents for the project. This is a required step before the swimming pool project can move forward. They examined the pool structure, its design and gradient, the inclusion of required safety features and the bathroom facilities. They examined the pool house pump room design and the electrical and plumbing specifications. After their stringent review, they gave the project the go ahead.

As with all phases of this project, the next step was to submit these documents to the NYS Department of Parks and Historic Preservation for their continued review. This is necessary to assure access to the $200,000 grant awarded back in 2009. Their approval came on September 20th. Then the bid package was prepared and submitted to them. With little delay, they granted their approval to go out to bid. The bid notice can be found in the October 16th publication of the Walton Reporter, as well as, on the Town of Delhi website (http://townofdelhiny.com/content/pool-and-pool-house-specifications-lega...). Bids are due at the Delhi Town Hall by 3pm on November 14, 2017. Within the Town of Delhi website are the pool and pool house designs for those who are just interested in
what this facility will look like.

New Engineer-New Pool Design

With a new pool design engineer on board, the Pool Committee will likely break ground for the new community swimming pool in late Fall or early 2017.This past March, Rod Prosser, Lakeside Engineering PC, Rochester, NY, was awarded the bid. Prosser has met several times with committee members to develop a new, less elaborate pool design which would still meet the community needs and stay within budget. The committee ​had​ to abandon a 2006 pool design after bids came in exceeding the 1.2 million the committee had raised. Giving up was not an option. The support within the greater Delhi community and well beyond​,​ along with the grants and help from our elected officials​,​made it clear that for this project to stay afloat, ​a new, fresh approach was necessary. ​Wilbur S. Oles’ vision, his dedication and business sense that helped raise most of the 1.2 million for a new swimming pool was not going to be ignored nor abandoned.

Much of the progress can be attributed to Eric Robert, a member of our community with an expertise in Contract, Materials and Construction Management. He has been invaluable in reviewing bid packages, researching and checking references and offering engineering advice which has helped the committee proceed confidently. He has agreed to continue to be actively involved in this project. The Pool Committee and the Town of Delhi couldn't be happier and more grateful.

After many reviews, the design plans are ready to be submitted to the NYS Department of Health and the NYS Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for approval. Their input is a necessary and integral part of the process. They bring assurances that we have a safe, high quality recreational environment for all to enjoy. These steps take time, but they are important and appreciated. Once these agencies do their reviews, the project will be ready to go out to bid.

So, it is full steam ahead. No hesitation..... No wavering.... No ifs, ands or buts. This swimming pool is going to be built!

Chlorine VS Salt Water

The Pool Committee had been keeping their eyes on the possibility of going with a salt water facility rather than chlorine as far back as 2008. Recently after contracting with Lakeside Engineering PC, the committee revisited this by doing a cost/mechanical analysis of chlorine versus salt water. The committee found the comparison to show clear advantages for having a salt water pool. ​Salt water​ reduces the annual cost of operation significantly and offers more stability and safety within and around ​the pool, all which benefit the ​swimmers.The committee voted unanimously to go with a salt water facility.

New Possibilities Energize the Pool Project

11/4/2015  The Pool Committee has decided to move forward with what they call their PLAN B for the design and construction of the new community swimming pool.

Good News!

Construction bids for our Delhi Swimming Pool And Pool House Project( West Branch Recreation and Aquatic Center) are being solicited at this writing. We are on our way to having the swimming pool that will re-ignite and expand the recreational possibilities for our families and friends in our greater area. A truly exciting time! It has been a long journey. Finally our dream of again having a swimming pool is soon to become a reality!

The bid notice went in the Walton Reporter, Delaware County Times, Daily Star and Binghamton Press along with notice on the Contractor's website, Dodge Report. It also appears on the Town of Delhi website. Bids will be opened at 7:30pm on June 9th at the town of Delhi Office building at 5 Elm Street.

This will be a destination for summer fun, where you can enjoy swimming, meeting friends, getting healthy and just plain relaxing. And then you will look at the adjacent playground, the athletic fields and Delaware County mountains and want to pack a picnic and stay longer next time?

Stay tuned to hear the latest. 

Constitution Pipeline Community Grant Awarded

The Constitution Pipeline Community Grant Program has awarded the West Branch Recreation and Aquatic Center Committee, a subcommittee under the Town of Delhi, a $25,000 grant for the construction of the community swimming pool. Under the expertise of Lori Paulson, a long time member of the Pool Committee and Grant Manager for Delaware County Economic Development, the application for consideration was submitted. Since 2008, Paulson has worked diligently to explore possible grants to assure the community could experience the summer recreational opportunities provided by a swimming pool, a facility which was once the focal point for summer activities in the greater Delhi area.  It was in 1950 that a group of energetic and optimistic residents, much like today’s Pool Committee, fundraised for a community swimming pool on Sheldon Drive.  That original group included the current Pool Committee’s Chairman Bill Oles whose business savvy paved the way from 2003 until 2011 when he stepped down due to health issues. Their venture gave this community a swimming pool that lasted 50 years. This present Pool Committee has every intention of doing the same!

Green Light!

The Pool Committee has been notified by the New York State Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation Agency that the plans and bid specifications package for the community swimming pool has been reviewed and approved. The quicker than expected letter of acceptance from Parks and Rec can most surely be due to the dedicated and thorough development of these plans and specifications by Pool Committee member, Chris Maney. What was advised by the agency to take weeks took just three days. Lori Paulson, Delaware County Economic Development, and member of the Pool Committee, has been the guiding force in navigating the many steps to satisfy Parks and Rec procedures to guarantee the $200,000 grant awarded 4 years ago.

This good news means the pool project is ready to go out to bid and that the ground breaking ceremonies will take place this Fall.  It has been through the vision and leadership of the Pool Committee founder, Wilbur S. Oles, that this project is now close to becoming a reality. The Pool Committee has never wavered from staying focused and dedicated to Mr. Oles’ belief that this greater area’s residents and visitors deserve the chance to again have the recreational pleasures that a swimming pool  offers, that there is a  center where families and friends can socially interact in a healthy and positive way.

Bid Specs Prepared/Driveway Established

This Spring the Village of Delhi Planning Board approved the West Branch Recreation and Aquatic Center pool site plans. This was soon after the NYS Health Department approved and stamped the pool plans authorizing the committee to move forward in the project. Passing the detailed inspection by the DOH is a major hurdle. And, they will continue to monitor the project and inspect the facility on a regular basis for as long as the swimming pool is in operation. The Planning Board completed and approved the SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review) which indicated a negative declaration/impact to the environment. This step gives the committee the authorization to break ground. Immediately afterwards, the pool plans and necessary paperwork were sent to the New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Agency for their final review phase of approval. Their official approval is a requirement for the committee to be assured of the $200,000 grant awarded 4 years ago.

With  help from the Architectural Engineer, Ben Hanbicki, who incorporated the committee’s wish list into a design 8 years ago  and additional help from members of the committee, the bid specs are near completion. The Pool Committee, under the wing of the Town of Delhi, expects to bid out, if all goes well, before the summer is over.

Through dialogue and negotiation, several entities within the community agreed where the safest route to the swimming pool should be. The Pool Committee is elated and appreciative to all who made this driveway entry to the pool possible. It will assure safe and direct access to the pool for all who want to enjoy the many recreational and social opportunities the swimming pool offers.

So are we there yet?  The Pool Committee believes we are pretty close!!

Senator Bonacic Announces a $100,000 Grant

The Town of Delhi Pool Committee was notified on February 26th by Senator Bonacic of a $100,000 grant for the community swimming pool project. Bonacic has been a long time supporter of this project. He first recognized the recreational need for this area back in 2005 with a grant to develop the engineering plans for the pool. Bill Oles, President at that time of the West Branch Recreation and Aquatic Center Committee (the formal name of this project) knew the importance of asking our elected officials for financial support as well as, giving a public voice to the need to have safe recreational opportunities for our rural communities. This is an exciting catalyst which will undoubtedly guarantee that groundbreaking will occur this year. Thank you, Mr. Bonacic!!

DOH Approves the Engineering Plans

The Town of Delhi - Pool Committee was notified by the NYS Department of Health that the submitted engineering plans for the Pool Project were approved on February 20th. This represents one of, if not the greatest, step the committee had to satisfy in order to proceed with the project. The Pool Engineer, Ben Hanbicki, out of Pennsylvania has been affiliated with the Pool Project since 2006 and will continue with the project until its completion. The committee's pool design originated from the members experience with pools, the various movement and use of the pool by swimmers and the necessity for safety and efficiency. The committee has been told that their community swimmiing pool design has been adapted by other communities. The Department of Health's stamp of approval can assure the community that the pool project has met the highest standards. They will continue to follow the project and be visible on an annual basis.

The Thomson Charitable Trust Recognizes the Pool Project

The Pool Committee was pleasantly surprised to learn of their receipt of $12,392 from the Thomson Charitable Trust. The Trust was established in 1965 with the mission of recognizing and supporting projects within 25 miles of Hobart which demonstrate a viable, well organized proposal that enhances the lives of their
communities. The Committee has their Treasurer, Bryan Boyer, to thank for the foresight to personally make contact with the Trust. The grant award represents a significant vote of confidence through a monetary contribution. The Pool Committee, more formally known as The West Branch Recreation and Aquatic
Center Committee, is truly gratified to be chosen as a recipient.

Walton Business Lends their Support

Benson Krom-Braen, owner and manager of West Branch Collision and Classics at 60 Delaware Street in Walton, felt it was time to offer some assistance to the West Branch Recreation and Aquatic Center Swimming Pool Project which will soon be built on Town of Delhi land adjacent to the Legion field. Krom-Braen is no stranger to contributing to area organizations and communities. Unbeknownst to the Pool Committee, he organized a fundraiser to help bring the Pool Project closer to its goal. When the Pool Committee contacted him to express their gratitude, he stated that giving back to not only Walton but many surrounding communities is just a natural and important part of who they are. He indicated that through his long time friendship with Jason Thomson, Delaware Academy School District Superintendent in Delhi, he became aware of Delhi’s quest to rebuild a swimming pool after the closure of their old pool in 2003. With assistance from his Office Manager, Leslie Scholl, a resident of Delhi, they generously presented a check to the Pool Committee Treasurer, Bryan Boyer. Most definitely an uplifting and inspiring contribution which helps us not only get the swimming pool build, but also to bridge our communities. Many thanks, Mr. Krom-Braen.

Appeal for Funding Reaches Beyond Our Borders

Our community swimming pool project has been in the works since the Fall of 2003. That’s a long time and might suggest lack of interest and support. But that is not the case. This project seems to be gaining momentum both in expressed interest and financial support. More and more people are believing this pool will become a reality. Individuals, families and businesses have been actively contributing. The Pool Committee has stayed focused and very much committed to getting a swimming pool built for everyone to enjoy. Through many challenges and much patience, it appears slow and steady wins the race!

One of our contributors sends out appeals for additional support by doing a mass mailing to his Class of 1968 classmates. Where is he doing all of this from? Germany! Growing up in Delhi in the 1950’s and 1960’s, Mark remembers the daily fun activities at the swimming pool on Sheldon Drive. Whether in the pool playing and creating water games or on the banks outside the pool gates socializing with friends, he never forgot the good memories of those summers at the pool. His fond experiences of summers in Delhi have been relayed to the committee by many other contributors near and far. Mark decided he could do something for our community project despite his distance from his childhood hometown. How grateful our communities are for all the support generated by memories and visions of summer fun around the swimming pool. Hats off to you all!

NYS Health Department Review Near Completion

The swimming pool project was submitted to the NYS Department of Health by our project engineer. The Pool Committee anticipates that the plans are nearing DOH approval. It is a complex and detailed review that has taken a long time to complete, but we have gotten some positive indications that we are rounding the bend, so to speak! DOH approval is one of, if not the biggest, hurdle the Pool Project faces.

O’Connor Foundation Approves a Grant for the Pool Project

The Pool Committee, operating under the wing of the Town, has been notified that the A. Lindsay and Olive B.  O’Connor Foundation has approved a grant of $213,000 to the Town of Delhi toward the construction of the swimming pool. The grant funds must be utilized within three years and are contingent upon submission of an acceptable proposal outlining heat and insulation with a multi fuel/gas heat system.  The Pool Project as designed in 2006 was to be equipped with the capacity for the water to be heated in order to extend the swimming season and keep the facility open longer as a family and social gathering spot for our communities.  The committee had decided to explore heating sources and do fundraising for the most viable source after the pool was constructed and operational.  While the committee had looked into solar energy, the O’Connor Foundation grant opens up new possibilities to meet the heat energy needs.

The Town of Delhi and the Pool Committee are very grateful for so generous a grant and for the validation and support it represents from the O’Connor Foundation.  Going into its 10th year of fundraising, grant pursuits and navigating through and around various bumps in the course, the Pool Committee has remained strong and committed to seeing this swimming pool become a reality.  The O’Connor Foundation has offered our communities the opportunity to meet the goal. Such good news at just the right time!!!  Thank you goes out to Donald Bishop, Executive Director, and the Board of Directors of the O’Connor Foundation. The Town of Delhi and its Pool Committee appreciate their confidence in this recreational endeavor.

Fundraising Event at the Midtown Grill

How do you adequately thank the many businesses within our area for their support in making our community swimming pool a reality?  The Midtown Grill Restaurant owned by Master Chef Giorgio and Aurora Bagatta located at 97 Main Street in Delhi has offered to put on a Pasta Poolooza event on Sunday, May 19th from 1pm – 6pm.  The buffet style spread of delicious food will please anyone’s palate.  And, all proceeds go directly to the pool project.  Not only are they providing the foods and location, but they are arranging the advertising, door prizes and music.

Additionally,Randy and Kim Shepard, publishers of Decker Advertising donated advertising in the County Shopper, Townsquare Media Broadcasting’s Market Manager George Wells donated  radio broadcasting of the event , Karen Clifford, owner of Serendipity Expressions donated shirts as door prizes and the Critter Sitter owned by Nancy Walsh donated gift certificates for pet care.  The Pool Committee and our entire community are truly humbled by their generous offers of their time and services.

Expect more to follow.

Help Support the Project by Purchasing a Shirt

The Pool Committee has created a light blue t-shirt (water!) just perfect for everyday wear and to show support for the swimming pool project.  It is a quality cotton shirt which comes in all sizes, complete with our mascot, Sammy the Swimmer.  A pretty good deal for $10. You can order by calling Kathy Davino at 607-746-7396.  Check it out, as well, on Facebook. 

Also, the Pool Committee will have a booth at the Firefest scheduled for Saturday, June 8th and Sunday, June 9th at the Maple Shade Farm on Back River Road.  We will be answering your questions about the swimming pool, having some displays and selling the t-shirts. There may even be free snacks to share with you.  The Firefest is a big event with many activities for the whole family.  Come join the fun.  Be sure to look for us!


Still Seeking Grant Funding

The Pool Committee has been diligently searching for grant sources.  Jen Green suggested the Constitution Pipeline Community Grant Program.  The  Community Foundation for Central New York  at  www. donorswhocare.org  is a potential fund source. And the committee will try again to appeal to the O’Connor Foundation for matching financial support.  Lori Paulson of Delaware County Economic Development and a member of The Pool Committee, has pursued all of these options for grant funding.  These three organizations may give our community the remaining funds to get the pool in and operating.  Very encouraging!

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