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No Belmont Complex Upgrades Currently Planned

 

In August, community residents and Armstrong County commissioners heard final feasibility study results about possible upgrades to the Belmont Complex, on Butler Road in West Kittanning Borough. The implementation of a pool heater and extended hours propelled the outdoor pool to generate the most income since 2010 and the most attendance since 2012. (KP File Photo)

In August, community residents and Armstrong County commissioners heard final feasibility study results about possible upgrades to the Belmont Complex, on Butler Road in West Kittanning Borough. The implementation of a pool heater and extended hours propelled the outdoor pool to generate the most income since 2010 and the most attendance since 2012. (KP File Photo)

by Jonathan Weaver

Despite receiving outside input as to the future of the Belmont Complex last year, Armstrong County Commissioners have decided at this time not to make any further upgrades to the West Kittanning facility.

Yesterday morning, officials closed out the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) grant process after hearing from county Planning and Development Project Manager Tom Swisher.

“Everything was completed in accordance of the grant agreement, expenditures remained in accordance of the grant agreement, materials were acceptable to Armstrong County and the plan and materials will be used to guide future recreation and conservation decisions, Swisher said.

“We think the report was everything (commissioners) were looking for.”

Initially received in June 2015, the in-depth study reviewed financials and demographics to not only review the pool usage but discuss long-term viability and additional recreation opportunities. A sum of $30,700 was received by DCNR before that amount was matched by county officials.

Commissioner Chair Pat Fabian said more long-term conversation is needed before upgrades are implemented.

“Right now, we do not have any dollars to do any kind of upgrades there, so that puts us in a holding pattern. We need to game plan into the future how the Belmont Complex fits into the county budget, how it fits in as a community asset and resource, Fabian said.

“We’re going to have to have some discussion on how we want to proceed with the Complex itself – ideally, we need a comprehensive plan with some outcomes,” Fabian added. “Whether that’s a two-year plan, three-year plan, five, 10, etc., we’re going to need some input from the taxpayers of Armstrong County.”

Commissioner George Skamai added that options are under consideration.

Last summer, officials did implement two suggestions received from Pashek Associates – extending pool hours into the evening and adding a heater to warm up the water.
Those additions – and a little additional marketing – made a considerable difference, Fabian said.

“I think in combination with good weather and the warm water, (Armstrong County) saw the best season- an increase of about $29-30,000,” Fabian said. “Hopefully we have sunshine this Summer and we have as good of a season, if not better.”

Other suggestions revealed last year included an outdoor destination playground/spray park, indoor sports facility or a studio ice rink.

Reader Feedback

7 Responses to “No Belmont Complex Upgrades Currently Planned”

  1. worthingtonman says:

    Sell the place. County should not be in business.

  2. Marc says:

    Why privatize the Belmont when a good old fashioned Corvette raffle can fix all of our problems? Send all inquiries to Jenny. #fjortyyears

  3. tiredoftheBS says:

    Explain to me why this is even being considered?? The county is so poor it sells the health center, which provided an ESSENTIAL service to the residents of this county. Why?? Because it was a “money pit.” But we are willing to spend taxpayer money for a recreation facilty, that yes provides a service to the residents of this county but by NO MEANS ARE ESSENTIAL. Yes, I do agree that the selling of the health center will probably be for the best but let’s get out of the recreation business as well. PRIVATIZE the prized Belmont!!

  4. Rainbow Rider says:

    Mark, Ever wonder why he sold it to the county rather than keep it for his sons/other family to continue to own and operate? If it was successful wouldn’t that be the thing to do?
    An old timer told me that the place wasn’t doing well and Hugo was in with the commissioners. Harry Fox I think he said. The county basically took it off his hands the old guy said, and it then made a career for Hugo’s one son. The old guy also mentioned that there was a tasty freeze on the property that had a fire and was never rebuilt after that fire. Would a successful tasty freeze have been rebuilt? Anyway this guy passed away some 15 or so years ago so I can’t ask him. Can someone else shed some light on this?? I do know that at the time the county was on a buying spree and that may be a factor also.?

  5. mark says:

    Hugo Montebell built/operated/maintained this facility and the ice rink for decades till his health failed. Too many chiefs now?

  6. Marc says:

    #fjortyyears

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