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Lansford group eyes grants to fix pool

Published September 19. 2016 02:45PM

The nonprofit trying to reopen the Lansford Pool has been busy planning its grass-roots effort, raising thousands in about six months of existence.

Now, the group, the Friends of the Lansford Pool, is moving toward applying for larger grants for the project. But the group's president wants to assure residents that they do not want to commandeer resources from other projects in the borough.

"We are not out to be better than, or take money from other organizations," President Nathan Halenar said. "We want to accomplish our goal, but we want to see improvement throughout the area."

The pool has been closed since the end of the 2015 season because of massive water leaks that drained 30 gallons per minute from the pool.

The group is in the process of applying for the first major grant to fix the problem - making an application to the Monroe County Local Share Account program. Organizations in Carbon County are eligible to apply for the grant, which is funded through gambling revenue.

Halenar said the group's goal right now is to fix the leaking pool itself - rather than the entire pool grounds.

Borough council approved of the application for the grant at Wednesday's meeting. The borough also approved LSA applications on behalf of the Lansford Alive nonprofit and the borough itself.

"I know that Lansford Alive and the borough also want to apply, but for gambling money, you can apply as much as you want," said Councilwoman Rose Mary Cannon, who heads the council's recreation committee.

The group expects to apply for more grants in early 2017. First they have to wait for the results of a feasibility study that council approved last month.

In the meantime, they have been raising plenty just through grass-roots efforts. Halenar said that the group's accounts now total more than $20,000.

The group held a Poker Run in July. Despite sweltering heat, they raised $6,300. They're finalizing the details for an upcoming spaghetti dinner.

Residents should also expect to see donation cans popping up at businesses around the Panther Valley area in the near future.

But they hope to raise the majority of the funds from outside sources. The group has pledged that they won't raise taxes to fund the pool.

"We're looking for some major donors, corporate sponsors. Not only federal, state grants, but local nonprofit grants. All things accessible and applicable to us," he said.

The Friends of the Lansford Pool meet the first Monday of the month at 6 p.m. at Lansford Borough Hall. For more information, contact Halenar at 484-629-5833.

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