Two things can be said about Enumclaw’s swimming pool: it gets a lot of use and generates a lot of discussion.
The aging facility, officially the Enumclaw Aquatic Center, has been the subject of professional examination, public comment and City Council consideration. The bottom line is, money is needed to keep the facility operating at an adequate level.
There was some good news on that front last week, when King County Parks announced the swimming pool was earmarked for a $125,000 grant.
The money will be used largely to make the aquatic center compliant with requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Michelle Larson, director of Enumclaw’s Parks and Recreation Department, said work will be done to the parking lot, restrooms, drinking fountains and other fixtures. In addition, she said, the grant will help improve the spectator seating area, where concrete is in need of repair.
The grant money, which must be spent by the close of 2020, will be included with larger, more expensive projects headed the pool’s way, Larson explained. Also coming next year is replacement of the pool’s deck and liner, work being funded courtesy of a $258,000 state allocation. That money was included in the capital budget recently passed by the Legislature.
The county money stems from a competitive process and is part of the Youth and Amateur Sports Grants program. The funding is an annual offering by the county and, this time around, saw 36 projects funded to the tune of $2.4 million. When the 2019 grant cycle began, the county received more than 200 applications seeking more than $13 million in support.
Larson said she and Kristin Munnel, aquatics supervisor, submitted a letter of intent in January. In March, the county invited Enumclaw to enter the formal grant process and, on May 21, Larson was notified of the $125,000 award.
Among the larger grant awards were $250,000 each for Little League field lighting in Federal Way and new turf for the field at Saghalie Park, also in Federal Way. Kent received $200,000 for a park playground and the same amount was allocated for lighting at Evergreen High in the Highline School District.
The grant program is funded and sustained through a 1 percent car-rental tax authorized by the state Legislature in 1993. Funds can only be used for programs or capital projects that increase access to health-enhancing physical activities.
Formerly called the Youth Sports Facilities Grants, King County has awarded more than $15 million in grants since the program’s inception in 1993, creating more than 350 new or renovated youth sports facilities and programs throughout the county.