The Woodlands Township board of directors discussed and then tabled a proposal for a 50-meter Olympic pool in the community during a budget workshop meeting on Wednesday.

The pool is one of more than 30 proposed 2017 budget initiatives the board of directors is considering before the new budget is up for final approval in mid-September.

Township Director Ann Snyder said she is believes a 50-meter pool is something the community does need and added she would be in favor of a placeholder in the 2017 budget for staff to answer some outstanding questions regarding the proposed initiative.

“Some of us who have not lived here for a long time may not remember the incredible opportunity when the [Woodlands Athletic Center] was here and had Olympians and people come [to The Woodlands],” she said. “It was amazing, and I would like to see us bring that back.”

Monique Sharp, assistant general manager for finance and administration, said the board of directors authorized in the 2016 budget the development of a master plan for Bear Branch Park. The plan would look at an analysis that was done on a proposed 50-meter pool last year to determine if Bear Branch or another location in The Woodlands would best suit the need for a competitive pool and its related costs.

The existing proposal is a capital investment of $6.8 million, and the swim teams have indicated they would contribute $1.5 million of that total cost. A $5.3 million capital investment would be left for the township, Sharp said.

There are a number of issues still in flux regarding the proposal, including issues like parking spaces and a balance between recreational and competitive uses, both brought up by township Director Laura Fillault. Township Director Jeff Long said he is warming up to the concept of a 50-meter pool, but said he hopes the township would be creative in bringing together the needs of both standard recreational and competitive users.

“I’m sure this will be a difficult task for [parks and recreation], but I’m in favor of trying to figure this out and move forward,” he said.

Another issue involves damage to the existing Bear Branch Pool after historic rainfall conditions this spring, which occurred after the initial analysis was done in 2015.

“We’re waiting for the report on the extent of what the damages are,” said Chris Nunes, director of the parks and recreation department. “We have some preliminary reports about how much it’s lifted [out of the ground] but the question right now is if the current pool is salvageable in its state.”

If the existing pool needs to be replaced, Nunes said he estimates the cost would be between $750,000-$850,000.

Township Director John McMullan said there still seem to be too many issues in flux related to the pool proposal.

“For instance, we don’t know if we’re going to have one pool or two pools,” he said. “We don’t know if we only have one pool if we need a second support building ... I think there’s more work we need to do to determine whether or not there is a 50-meter pool proposal that makes sense.”

Board chairman Ed Robb also agreed there are too many unknowns, but said he believes it is important that the board take a step forward to move in the right direction.

“For these interested parties, we’re saying our intent is to advance this, we want to see this to completion, but we don’t know all the particulars,” he said.

Township Director Gordy Bunch suggested adding $6 million to the township’s capital reserve fund that could be used for projects like the 50-meter pool and other community-wide park projects.

“What is important is to have is the money available at the point when these projects become executable,” Bunch said. “As of today, we do not have funding set aside for these projects. This establishes the funding mechanism as these projects mature.”

However, township Director Mike Bass proposed committing $5.3 million for the pool project assuming the swim teams could raise $1.5 million and commit to paying at least 50 percent of the operating costs. A decision regarding how to fund it, possibly through a revenue bond, would come in the future.

Neither measure was officially voted on during the meeting as the item was tabled.

Budget workshops and discussion of other proposed initiatives continue following the board of director’s regular meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday.