Polson Aquatics Center Gets $6 Million In Funding - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Polson Aquatics Center Gets $6 Million In Funding

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MISSOULA -

A Missoula-based company is giving $6 million in financing to a Polson aquatics center in order to keep it open. Mission Valley aquatics is a non-profit run on community loans.

17-year-old lifeguard Cash Sisler says at his age, he's lucky to have a job.

"At our age it's difficult to get a job, because a lot of companies don't believe teens are qualified to hold a position," Sisler said.

Mission Valley Aquatics in Polson gives about 40 teenagers, like Cash, a part-time job, and created three full time jobs.

"It's just so important for a kid my age to have a job, because without job, we enter the work force without knowing what to do," Sisler said.

The non-profit health facility was created to give the Lake County community a place to swim and exercise.

"There's so much pleasure on peoples faces when they walk through the door," said MVA Project Director, Tana Seeley.

Seeley said the aquatics center is run on community loans, and  it's been an uphill battle getting the funding needed to keep it running.

"It's been a million dollar project, millions of millions of dollars and we are now down to the end of needing to pay of just a little less than one-million dollars of community loans to pay off," Seeley said.

That's thanks to the Montana Community Development Corporation, or Montana CDC, and U.S. Bank, who have secured $6 million in permanent financing to support the center. The Montana CDC works to give groups throughout the state business financing. It's giving the aquatics center financing through its New Markets Tax Credits program which is designed to help create jobs in low income communities.

"We are open to public now, but there are still some pieces we're trying to finish up, " Seeley said.

The $6 million will go to landscaping around the MVA building, and a new community room.

"It's been a community that's wanted this, and needed this for more than 50 years, and their so happy it's here," Seeley said.

She said the center will continue fundraising to pay off the rest of their loans. The Montana CDC, based in mMssoula, has lent more than $250 million to Montana businesses since it opened in 1986.

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