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Salem community submerged in pool fundraising

SALEM -- The Salem community is preparing to dive into the construction of a new bathhouse and playground to enhance the city's pool facilities. Construction for the $456,700 project will begin Aug. 15 and is predicted to be completed Nov. 15. Th...

SALEM - The Salem community is preparing to dive into the construction of a new bathhouse and playground to enhance the city's pool facilities.

Construction for the $456,700 project will begin Aug. 15 and is predicted to be completed Nov. 15. The work will be done by Swift Contracting Inc. from Sioux Falls.

The existing bathhouse was built in 1958, and it has not undergone major construction since it was first built.

"The bathhouse is in horrible condition," said Sharon Kinzley, Salem pool renovation project fundraising committee member. "It is just falling in."

Kinzley doesn't consider the bathhouse to be safe, and she thinks it's time for something new.

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Other features being added during the construction are a sidewalk, portion of deck on the north side of the pool and playground.

Along with Kinzley, Glenda Blindert - another committee member for the project - approached the Salem City Council in 2013 to see what could be done with the pool.

According to Kinzley, the city council was unable to fund the entire project, so community groups and residents worked together to fundraise.

The committee for the pool project has raised $209,750 since 2013, and it has one more event scheduled before constructions begins mid-August. The remaining balance for the pool will be covered by city reserves.

For the playground, Salem received a land water conservation fund grant, according to Lori Heumiller, Salem finance officer.

Events to raise money included golf tournaments, raffles, a New Year's Eve gala hosted by the Salem Community Women, car show, "Save the pool" Amazing Race, street dance and other events. Community members have also made personal donations for the project.

"It's been an ongoing thing, but surprisingly we've raised quite a bit of money in a short amount of time," Kinzley said.

The events continue this week with the second annual Salem Car Show on Sunday. Classic cars, trucks, motorcycles and vintage tractors can register the day of the show for $20.

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Attendees can come to the car show between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Salem City Park. Contests and prizes are available during the day.

"It's going as good as expected with people giving what they can, and the council has stepped up and are putting the rest of the money toward the project," Heumiller said.

Heumiller and Kinzley agree that the Salem Pool Renovation Project will have a lasting impact on the town.

"You've got to have stuff in town like a pool, otherwise the town doesn't thrive," Kinzley said. "It's just common sense that over time you repair and replace things."

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