The Chadron City Council has awarded a $29,000 LB-840 Community Development Grant to help buy and install an electronic timing system for the pool at the Chadron Area Aquatics and Wellness Center.
The grant application came from the Chadron Community Foundation on behalf of the Chadron Sharks Swim Team, which will provide the other $15,000 needed for the project. The team plans to use its membership fees and fundraising for the match.
An electronic timing system has been a goal of the Sharks ever since Chadron’s outdoor pool was converted into the indoor Aquatics Center.
Sharks Board President Sheila Pourier told the council Monday night that the Aquatics Center is big enough to host large swim meets, but is currently limited to no more than 3 teams because 3 volunteers with stopwatches are needed for each lane.
Pourier said having a computerized system would make Chadron meets larger and more appealing to competitors and encourage more of them, as well as their friends and family, to come to meets in Chadron and stay longer.
Chadron Community Foundation President Emily Rischling echoed in writing Pourier’s belief that the timing system is a “vital enhancement” that will help the Aquatics Center reach its full potential.
Sharks spokesman Rex Cogdill told the council he didn’t know when the timing system would arrive and be installed because the manufacturer is facing many of the supply chain issues plaguing other industries, but was confident it would be by spring.
City Building and Zoning Officer Janet Johnson said the work could begin as soon as the timing system hardware arrives because there’s no need to drain the pool as part of installation.