Towson Swim Club needs 135 new members to stay afloat.
That was the message the pool's board delivered to its membership last week, as the swim club charts a rough course to a May 2013 opening.
"We will terminate the project, finally and fatally, if by Feb. 29 we haven't hit our goal," said , a West Towson resident and member of the swim club's board, in an interview.
The project has hit several financial and logistic snags in the past. In 2010, several residents in nearby Southland Hills to level an adjacent wooded area. Once planned to open for Memorial Day 2011, the swim club will either be ready for the start of pool season in 2013 or be terminated.
The swim club is slated to be built on the corner of Bosley Avenue and Towsontown Boulevard on land leased from Baltimore County.
Why the rush for the end of next month? The swim club needs to pay $30,000 for an engineering contract, then file for wastewater management and other environmental permits. That process, Glikin said, can take four to six months.
The board told members on Jan. 26 that to secure one of two loans, the financial institutions want the club to have the backing of at least 315 members by Feb. 29 for either a $400,000 or $484,000 loan.
"If we have 315 members signed up ... we feel very confident that we can make this project work," Glikin said.
In 2010, the project looked like it was headed for relatively smooth sailing, when a private investor stepped up to fund the project. That investor backed out due to a management shakeup that had nothing to do with the pool, Glikin said. The swim club then spent much of 2011 reassessing the loan climate and finally got the loan offers in December.
The presentation given to members last week is attached to this story.
The swim club currently has $318,000 in member funds in an escrow account, that will not be touched until the engineering contract is paid. The money will be refunded if the pool does not move forward. The $68,000 spent so far on legal fees, design and other expenses have come out of the 17 board members' own pockets.
And even with the money raised through memberships and the loan, the board would likely need to raise $150,000 to cover the rest of the pool's $1.4 million construction costs through donations and other financing.
A membership drive in 2009 gained the club nearly 200 members. It has 180 remaining now. Glikin said that with enough help from the current members, the club can reach the goal.
"We've had a lot of members who are really enthusiastic and realize how good this can be for the community," Glikin said.
Joining the pool costs a total of $2,500, plus membership fees, when the pool opens. Glikin said all the the swim club needs is to see that enough residents have paid the application fee.
"Everybody (who is already a member) should find at least a person to sign up to become a member and there are a number of benefits that someone could get by being a member," Glikin said, including the ability to transfer a membership when you sell your home.
To sign up, visit the swim club's website.