Colburn Pool donors have a decision to make

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Some Colburn pool donors are getting their money back after they donated to a project that failed to pass in Green Bay City Council. On Friday, at least one disappointed pool donor tells Action 2 News he already got the money donated back.

The Greater Green Bay Community Foundation collected about $1 million worth of donations from the public for the new Colburn Pool project with an underlying guideline that donors could not be refunded.

"I was surprised that the foundation has a rule like that because let's face it, not all projects always go ahead,” Bill Galvin of the Green Bay City Council said."Since then, there have been negotiations with the foundation and it looks like the money's going to be returned and the city is offering the donors the opportunity to either donate their money to the Green Bay Parks Department for specific or unnamed projects—up to them—or to have the money returned to them, which I think is only right."

The Colburn Pool will end up seeing improvements, though. There will be patchwork done to the pool to ensure its still a place for people to swim.

But for people who really wanted this to be an Olympic-sized swimming pool, that's really not good enough.

Bernie Dahlin donated $300,000 toward a new Olympic-size pool in the park. He told Action 2 News Friday on the phone that he got all his money back, adding, "This is a disappointment because the pool is not going to be built the way it was originally discussed. I really feel that the kids on the west side of Green Bay deserve an Olympic sized pool for swim meets."

Still, council members like Galvin believe the city made the right call in canceled the project—which was estimated to end up with the final price tag of more than $11 million.

"It's just unfortunate the whole thing ended up costing so much. In the end, that's what killed it,” Galvin said. “Had it been a few million dollars less, I'm pretty sure this thing would've gone forward."

Next Thursday-a public information meeting will be held at Franklin Middle School so the public can learn about the repair options available to Colburn Pool. Donors have to make the decision whether to be refunded by the end of this month.