ST. JOSEPH - St. Joseph is starting initial fundraising for a proposed $6.1 Million aquatic center project.

The city wants to see what kind of sponsorship and money could be available for the project. Mayor Rick Schultz says a portion of the project costs will need to be covered by fundraising.

"We put together a packet and presentation that we can give to businesses and people that want to donate and that's going to start going out now."

The proposed aquatic center includes a lazy river, lap pool, splash pool, zero depth entry pool, climbing wall and a zip line. The aquatic center could be put on a site to the northwest of the intersecton of County Road 133 and Elm Street East.

Some residents recently voiced concerns about the cost and the scale of the project. Others also cited safety concerns and the fact that the aquatic center will only be able to operate for a limited time when it's warm enough in the summer.

Other residents have stated their support for the project. Some pointed out that having a large outdoor attraction would likely boost the local economy and would motivate people to visit St. Joseph.

St. Joseph is also been weighing the possibility of building a community center. The city council has been meeting in closed session to discuss possibly buying the former Kennedy School is at 124 1st Avenue Southeast. Negotiations for the site are ongoing and when they finish the city will return to discussing the possibility of a community center.