In an act of good faith, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe will make a donation to the city of St. Maries.

Tribal Council Chairman Ernie Stensgar announced at a county commissioner’s meeting that the Tribe will donate $20,000 to be used for improvements to the city pool.

“The donation was made as an act of good faith and partnership. We work closely with Benewah County and the people of St. Maries. And felt it was a good way to build and maintain the relationship we are striving for. We want to be a good neighbor,” Tribe Communications Director Jennifer Fletcher said.

While many of the plans are still in the development stage, some improvements to the pool will include shade features and a new slide.

“One of the things we’ve talked about is fabric pool shades, but that’s just talk. We are also looking at umbrellas and other things,” City Treasurer Celia Sibert said.

Total, the city will have received approximately $25,000 in grant funds this year. The city received an Idaho Community Foundation grant of $5,000.

According to the Idaho Community Foundation website that $5,000 will be used to “… keep the pool open and functional and to provide necessary repairs and upgrades for the safety and recreation of children.”

The pool has proven costly at times. In 2010 the city paid $68,902.83 to replace the main drain line, seams, add an additional drain and repair cracks in the pool floor. In 2018, the city spent approximately $20,000 to replace electrical panels, rewire utilities and replace water pumps.

The pool is approximately 73-years old.

The city earns between $11,000 to $13,000 from city pool revenue. It costs approximately $60,000 annually to operate.

“We are trying to do some upgrades to make it more appealing. It’s never going to be a money maker, but it is something that the city needs to provide,” Ms. Sibert said.

The new slide is expected to be installed in time for next summer.

“I’m not sure when we are purchasing it, but it will be up and going by next swim year,” Ms. Sibert said.

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