City Pages file photo

With the dust settling between NCHC and the county, there’s a renewed push to rebuild NCHC’s the warm water therapy pool this year.

Lost in the months-long dust-up between the county and North Central Health Care was a project to build a new warm water therapy pool in 2015 — but now the project is once again starting to pick up steam.

The Health and Human Services Committee this month directed county staff to plan a series of public information meetings starting in March about a potential new therapy pool. Cost projections to replace the pool are between $7 million and $8 million, says Marathon County Administrator Brad Karger.

NCHC and county officials have sought a new or renovated pool since 2008, says HHS committee member John Robinson. The pool, built in 1977, is fast deteriorating, while medical referrals to the pool continue to increase. Advocates from Warm Water Works, a group dedicated to seeing a new therapy pool built, say the pool will become increasingly important as the number of seniors in Marathon County grows in the next 20 years.

The NCHC Board this month will officially adopt a position on the pool, says NCHC Interim CEO Michael Loy, and is likely to support the project.

Funding a new pool will be the biggest hurdle, Robinson says, because it will require a yes vote from three-quarters of the county board, regardless of who is actually present at the meeting. The information sessions could go a long way toward explaining the need, Robinson says. Those meetings will be held in March at the NCHC auditorium.