Jesup Council accepts state grant to repair rec center pool

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The process of restoring the Cracker Williams Community Center pool got a big boost last week when the Jesup City Council accepted a $100,000 matching grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Molly Hall told the Council that the city had received the award letter for the grant and that a formal acceptance was needed.

The Council approved the proposal unanimously.

City Manager Mike Deal explained that the matching by the city would be provided by the in-kind labor the city does on the project.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant will be used to clear out the dirt now filling the pool, to install a liner and to repair damage to the surfaces to make the pool usable again.

Deal said that work would begin on the project as soon as city workers are able to return to work.

He told the Jesup Council last week that the work could be completed fairly soon. He said that, though it is not likely, it is possible the pool would open this summer.

He said the repaired pool would qualify for official swim team meets.

Commissioner Bill Harvey, who chairs the committee charged with revitalizing the entire Cracker Williams facility, said he would set up a meeting of the committee to begin the process.

“Let’s go ahead and get this working,” he said.

Deal also said, in response to a question from Commissioner Don Darden, that he thought the grant money would be enough to complete the repairs.

“It could be a little less,” he noted.

Mayor David Earl Keith thanked Hall and the Council for the work on procuring the grant and getting the repair process started.

The LCWF is a program of the Department of the Interior that provides grants to states to develop public parks and other outdoor recreational sites.

The Cracker Williams pool was closed and filled with dirt several years ago when it and the park were operated by the Wayne County Recreation Department.

Renovations of the park and the community center building were recently completed by the city.