GAFFNEY, SC (WSPA) – The Irene pool in Gaffney has been locked away and local veterans want to transform its location.
Cherokee County Veterans Affairs officer Todd Humphries went before city council Tuesday on behalf of the Cherokee County Veterans Day Organization asking for help expanding the veterans park next door to the pool area.
“The veterans park was dedicated in 2009 and has been an asset to our community ever since,” Humphries told council.
Humphries asked council to donate the city owned pool for a $100,000 project that includes a green space, pavilion, and splash pad. He said veterans would launch a capital improvement campaign to raise funds and would be responsible for renovations and maintenance upon completion.
“Absolutely it’s important to get something done,” said Gaffney Mayor Henry Jolly. “We want to work and cooperate with them, we just need to work all the details out.”
Council members would want details like how much the project would cost the city.
Council already voted to set aside $25,000 to demolish the pool but Gaffney City Administrator James Taylor said money the veterans are asking for before they can build could exceed that budget. Taylor added that hospitality tax revenue is a possible funding source.
“It has to be done by an ordinance,” said Mayor Jolly. “You can’t give away stuff.”
The pool sits at the edge of the Tank Branch neighborhood which is in the process of its own revitalization.
“I think it is excellent,” resident Lillie Edwards said of the pool proposal. “That section is growing. We just wish that it could go all the way over the community.”
The veterans group says they need the city’s help paying for possible asbestos issues and removing debris from the property.
Council voted to work on drafting an ordinance and getting a better idea of how much the partnership would cost the city.