Vincent Black, 6, does a cannonball into Dakin Pool on opening day, June 23. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

A Bangor nonprofit fighting to keep a beloved community pool afloat will receive $45,000 in pandemic relief funds from the county to improve the pool and its programming.

Friends of Dakin Pool will put the $45,000 grant from the Penobscot County Commissioners toward the organization’s “Jump In!” campaign, which aims to fund the resurfacing of the pool deck and a new slide for the pool for summer 2024, among other renovations.

Friends of Dakin Pool formed 20 years ago to fund repairs to the Dakin Pool on Bangor’s east side but reorganized earlier this year to resurrect the struggling neighborhood swimming area. The group urged city officials to raise the hourly wage for municipal lifeguards and use incentives like sign-on bonuses to draw people to the job in late June, and the pool reopened with limited hours the following month.

With the new gift, the organization will have raised more than $81,000 toward the campaign’s $160,000 goal, according to Alicia Nichols, Friends of Dakin Pool campaign manager.

The $45,000 comes from the county’s Commissioners’ Fund grant program, which gives each of the three commissioners $300,000 to distribute to organizations tackling problems in their districts. Those awards can range from $5,000 to $50,000.  

That money originally came from the $29.5 million the county received after Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act in 2021, Wendy Dana, Penobscot County’s grant manager, said.

Kathleen O'Brien is a reporter covering the Bangor area. Born and raised in Portland, she joined the Bangor Daily News in 2022 after working as a Bath-area reporter at The Times Record. She graduated from...