February 2024 Update

Dear Meadowlane Pool Families,

Thank you for your patience and your support throughout the past year. It has been a challenging year to be certain.  Yet throughout, we have remained united in the goal to reopen our beloved Meadowlane Pool.  Currently, we are writing to share an update on the status of our efforts and the process with which we are moving forward.  Through transparency, we hope to avoid misunderstanding and stay collaborative in our efforts.

Process Update

Last March, the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy, along with the Lancaster County Health Department, completed an inspection of Meadowlane. It was determined that “the swimming pool will need to have an engineering evaluation and fix any deficiencies prior to opening.” A list of specific concerns was enumerated within the inspection report, ranging from loose pool coping and tiles, large cracks and uneven surfaces within the pool decking, and chipping in the pool basin.  Additionally, there were concerns with the diving board and slides.  The pool filters were inoperable and need replacement.  Further, subsoil conditions under the pool decking were unknown and required investigation for erosion or settling. 

The volunteer members of the Meadow Lane Park Association spent last summer and fall discerning whether reopening the pool was even possible and, if so, what steps were needed to accomplish it.  Additional board members were recruited, and a path forward was envisioned.  To be clear, no one is at fault for the pool being closed.  Six decades of wear and tear on the pool necessitates updates to be made, paving the way for another three generations of summertime memories.

Last fall, the Meadow Lane Park Association put forth a plan to transition from a 501(c)7 membership organization to a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.  One factor which has led to deferred maintenance over the years is a lack of necessary funding.  The ability to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions will be a significant step forward in this regard.  Legal counsel was secured, and the necessary non-profit applications were submitted to the IRS in December 2023.  This process can take 9 to 12 months for approval.  However, if the pool is going to be reopened, fundraising efforts need to begin sooner.

To expedite the fundraising efforts, a partnership with CHAD (Combined Health Agencies Drive) has been established.  CHAD facilitates employee giving campaigns specifically designated for health organizations and partner agencies that support healthy families and strong communities.  Corporate partners, charitable foundations and individual donors can now make tax deductible contributions, designated for the Meadow Lane Park Association, through CHAD.  Read more about this partnership at www.chadnebraska.org/fiscal-sponsorship.

Construction Estimate

The NDEE and Lancaster County Health Department specifically require an engineering evaluation of the pool and the repair of any deficiencies.  Toward that end, Jason Suelter at Vector Structure Design and Murtaza Nolwala at REGA Engineering Group, Inc. are leading the effort to structurally review all aspects of the pool, pool decking and subsoil conditions.  Both engineering firms are well respected within the community and will represent Meadow Lane Park Associate’s interest when selecting contractors. Furthermore, it will be their post-construction inspection which ensures that all safety concerns have been resolved and the pool is safe to operate.   Multiple swimming pool specific contractors and maintenance firms have also been included in the process to define the proper scope of necessary repairs.

A detailed inspection of the pool’s structural integrity has been completed by Vector and REGA.  Most recently, portions of the pool decking have been removed to inspect subsoil erosion problems.  A lack of proper drainage away from the pool is a potential concern and will be addressed in the engineering plans.  In March, the surrounding property will be surveyed.  A set of construction documents should be completed by April or May.  These documents will allow us to confirm that our approach to repairs will satisfy the NDEE and Lancaster County Health Department concerns and that contractor’s estimates are within the necessary scope. 

The board of directors has been receiving preliminary recommendations from pool contractors on how the issues should be resolved.  As you can imagine, those estimates range significantly in scope, proposed process, and costs.  This has been informative but does not provide a definitive plan for the best course of action.  By June, all interested parties can provide construction estimates based on the Vector and REGA’s scope of work and construction documents.  Estimates will be reviewed by the Meadow Lane Park Association board of directors, as well  Vector and REGA.  Contractors should be selected in July, with work completed in late summer to fall.

Unfortunately, this necessary timeline precludes any possibility of Meadowland Pool opening in 2024. The process, while slow, is being done with a long-term vision of correcting structural and safety concerns of the pool in best manner possible.  If the engineering and construction process runs smoothly, and we can afford to make the necessary corrections, we envision the pool reopening for the 2025 season.  Like you, we are excited to return to spending summer evenings at the pool with our families and friends!

Fundraising Efforts

Completing the needed repairs to the pool, the decking, and equipment will be no small task.  Paying for the project will also require a significant effort.  Fundraising and marketing plans are being developed by Jude and Stephanie Werner, who work in these areas and have assisted in other capital projects.  The ‘Big Splash’ campaign is currently being developed.  Preliminary conversations are taking place with potential community partners who see the value of  the Meadowlane Pool for families and the neighborhood.  The success of this project is dependent upon leadership community support, as well as a broad base of small businesses, community foundations and generous individuals.  There will be a role for everyone to help.

Those interested in making a personal charitable contribution to the pool can do so now through CHAD.  Your early support will help with the costs of engineering and site testing.   A more visible community fundraising campaign can begin in earnest once the project scope and cost are solidified later this spring.  Participation in the Lincoln Community Foundation’s Give to Lincoln Day, held on May 30, 2024 is an important goal.  Watch for updates on the fundraising efforts and how you can help both in volunteering and generosity.  Everyone’s efforts will be needed for us to open the pool in 2025!

In summary, the Meadowlane Pool has been a staple in our community and in our families for over sixty years.  We’ve watched toddlers learn to swim and those on the Meadowland Makos find confidence.  We meet our neighbors for summer evening conversations, and we enthusiastically celebrate the Fourth of July!  From parent and grandparent volunteers, high school lifeguards and even local Boy Scouts painting the pool house, Meadowlane is part of who we are.  The memories and friendships that are fostered here are invaluable and worth preserving. 

In the months ahead, the support and patience of each of you will be appreciated.  Your volunteerism and generosity will be essential.  Together we can restore Meadowland Pool and once again enjoy the laughter and smiles that come from each and every ‘Big Splash.’


Meadow Lane Park Association Board of Directors      

Pool update!

We are excited to announce that our pool board has a new president, Nate Gemmell. We have filled all needed board positions and are working diligently to try and open for the 2020 season in some capacity.

We have some immediate needs that we are addressing and are working with the city to get our pool to open as safely and as soon as possible.

We know there are a lot of questions and uncertainties and we want to be as open as possible throughout the process.

Once we have a handle on the viability of the pool opening this summer we will reach out with a survey to gauge interest to see if we will have enough member funds to open for the 2020 season.

We hope to have many more answers in the next week and will provide updates as soon as we have more answers.

Covid-19 Update – Meadow Lane Pool. (MUST READ!)

We recently received our guidelines and recommendations from the Nebraska Dept. of Environment & Energy.  It appears that they WILL be allowing pools to open following strict social distancing guidelines and sanitation measures as it has not been shown that the virus can be spread through pool water.  The restrictions impose limits of 10 people at a time at the pool and maintaining a distance between swimmers of 6 feet.  I imagine that most of our members can see that following such restrictions will be very difficult in a pool setting that requires a minimum number of active families as members to adequately fund the pool. 

So, as with many area businesses and organizations we are left having to consider all our options for the upcoming swim season.  Unfortunately, the large majority of our current 2019 Board of Directors have decided to not renew their memberships for the 2020 season.  Our By-Laws clearly state that Board Members must have an active membership to serve on the Board of Directors.  Currently, only I as president, has an active membership.  After consulting with our donated legal advisor, I have been informed that I may act with executive authority to both make decisions for the management and welfare of the pool in all matters and appoint new board members from our active member list.  

While I will do so as necessary until the minimum of 5 Board Members is achieved to form the required quorum, I am not comfortable being the sole decision making authority for the pool, especially given the fact that such decisions may ultimately result in the permanent closure of the Meadow Lane Pool if minimum financial obligations cannot be met.  We currently have a mere 22 active members and need at least 165 active members to operate the pool at full capacity and staff.  Instead, I will be mailing out a survey questionnaire to our current active members and be asking for volunteers to serve on the Board of Directors for the 2020 season.  Many important decisions will be made in the coming weeks regarding the future of Meadow Lane Pool & Park Association. 

***If you want to have a say in the future of the pool, it is important to pay your membership before May 1st!

Among some of the decisions I will want them to consider are:  Can the pool be operated in some lessor capacity like, operating without lifeguards, allowing active members keys to use the pool like an apartment complex or hotel pool, opening the pool to regular daytime party rentals for individual families and groups of 10 or less.  (This option would allow for active members to have regular party slots for their families.)?  Or should the pool be closed for the 2020 season and have all current active memberships transferred to 2021 season?  Unfortunately, at this point, memberships refunds cannot be made as most of these funds have already been used to pay taxes, fees and utilities.  We will also need to consider the possibility of imposing a bond maintenance fee to keep unused bonds active through the 2020 season or even donating the pool to another non-profit like Lincoln Youth Sports, that may be in a better position to support the pool financially.  Of course, doing so means forever losing control over the pool locally through its bonded members.  Such a donation may result in the pool being simply closed and sold for development.

There are also a couple executive decisions I want to announce ahead of the forth coming member survey.  I have suspended the half price memberships for the Board of Directors for the 2020 season.  This is both a financial and pragmatic decision considering that we are going to be calling on members that have already payed their full 2020 membership to fill the vacant seats on the board, and we currently cannot afford to give out refunds.  Also, I am suspending credit card services through our bank to save money.  Individuals may still pay their memberships through Paypal online as they wish. 

Finally, I want to tell all our bonded members that I am dedicated to doing the very best for Meadow Lane pool.  But there is only so much one man can do.  We are a social organization the provides access to the pool to our members, not the other way around.  I know we are all going through hard times, but if we fail to support the things we love from our churches, to our local businesses, to our unique local pool with a 60 year history in the Meadow Lane neighborhood through these hard times, we can hardly expect those things to still be here when the hard times pass us by.  In that spirit, donations are always welcome, regardless of how small.  And volunteers are always encouraged to become a part of such a valuable tradition and resource.

With Hope & Prayers,

Richard Okelberry,  President, MLPA

Renewal Letters

Every year, it is typical that some active members will not receive renewal/annual meeting letters due to inaccurate mailing information in our database. As we have not had a member-volunteer as a Membership Coordinator for the past several years, upkeep of our database has fallen behind. If you are a member that did not receive a renewal letter this year, you can download a copy along with our financial report for 2019 below. You may also renew your membership online by following the membership link on our website.

Annual Meeting Postponed

Due to the declaration of a National Emergency concerning the Novel Corana-virus and the advice by national and local health officials that gatherings be avoided to help prevent the spread of this virus, the governing board for Meadow Lane Park Association has decided to postpone our annual meeting previously scheduled for April 1st, 2020. As a new meeting is scheduled, announcements will be made here on our website and via social media or by other electronic means.

New Address

Thanks to some volunteer efforts we now have a mailbox and are closing our P.O. Box. The City and USPS have changed our address so that the new mailbox could be near our entrance.

The new mailing address is:

1310 Meadow Dale Dr., Lincoln NE 68505

All correspondence and future membership renewals should be sent to this new address or possible be returned to sender. We ask our members to please make note of this change.

Membership Limit

While we have already seen a surge in membership with the improving weather, we expect with the introduction of Recurring Payments that we will see another major surge in new and renewed memberships. As such, it is important for our bond holders to remember that according to our by-laws as a social/recreation club that we are limited to no more that 360 active memberships in a given season. As such, if we reach this limit, we will be required to begin turning away membership requests even to current bonded members.

So the MLP Board wants to encourage those that are considering purchasing a 2019 membership at MLP to not delay. Bond holders should also understand that if we do reach this limit, active members in the 2019 season will have first option to purchase a 2020 season membership. Second option will go to inactive bond members then new members will be given the option of joining.

***NOTE: MLP does NOT offer partial year memberships. Regardless of when a membership is purchased in the season, the price of a seasonal membership is the same. Past governing boards have allowed new members to purchase a half year membership after July the 4th as part of a New Member Promotion. MLP will continue this promotion only if there is available active membership slots at the time.