The Town of Newburgh released a survey aiming to receive the public's input on the town's pool.
The town closed the pool at the Lou Dennis Community Park last year when age related upgrades far exceeded the annual income of the pool. Now, the town is hoping to get input on a new pool and educate the public about the town's options.
Town manager Christy Powell said the idea for the survey came from a partnership formed with students at the University of Southern Indiana. She said parks board president Mary Ann Wilsbacher made an initial contact with a group at the university that works to help local businesses and organization resolve issues.
Powell said the town got a meeting with Steven Stump, the Assistant Director of USI's Center for Applied Research Outreach and Engagement who helped identify the town's needs and pair them with programs that could help. From there, the town was connected with Master's student Kim Patton who is seeking her graduate degree in public service and took on the project as a capstone project.
"I have been very impressed with them," Powell said.
Powell said the project produced the idea for the survey, which asks participants to give their input on the type of pool they hope to see and the type of funding options they'd like to see the town pursue. She said the questions help gather input from the public, while also educating those who participate in the options that are available to the town and the steps it will take to achieve them.
Now, Powell said the spring semester is to focus on data collection, a feasibility study, a marketing plan and a large capital fundraising project. She said the work that could be accomplished far exceeds what the town would be able to do otherwise.
"The town is able to utilize this entire resource of intelligent fresh ideas with little to no cost at all," she said.
Powell said there has been some concern about questions relating to demographics.
"We discussed these demographic questions and if they were necessary," she said. "The demographic information is important for future grant opportunities that might, for example, be available for an underserved area of the population. It's important the town knows who will be served by a possible new pool and average household income could be used to determine admission fees and the ability for the town to bear a bond."
While planning for the survey, Powell said the town is also taking the opportunity to upgrade its website. She said USI computer science students Demetre Phipps, Colten Reynods, Cameron Cochren and Andrew Ribicki worked with her to help build and manage a new website that was launched with the survey.
However, as the new site is still under construction the old site will remain available, Powell said.