EAST GRAND FORKS CITY COUNCIL: The consensus? Let's swim
Several months ago, East Grand Forks city leaders were across the board about what to do about a deteriorating outdoor swimming pool. Opinions varied from building a new indoor pool to sending swimmers across the river. But, Tuesday night, Mayor ...
Several months ago, East Grand Forks city leaders were across the board about what to do about a deteriorating outdoor swimming pool.
Opinions varied from building a new indoor pool to sending swimmers across the river.
But, Tuesday night, Mayor Lynn Stauss and City Council members seemed to reach a consensus in the middle ground. They are all behind spending $1.25 million to repair the existing pool.
Details need to be worked out in committee, however. One issue is whether to make the repairs incrementally over several years or to do it all at once, even if the construction period creeps into summer.
Another consideration is how to pay for it. One option is using the existing building maintenance fund, which typically has $250,000 a year. The other is to ask voters to approve a general obligation bond that would raise $100,000 a year over 15 years.
Alderman Henry Tweten said that, given the school district's narrow passage of an operating levy this year, he was "very, very apprehensive" about voters passing a building project.
However, using the maintenance fund would mean "eating most of it for the next five years," Administrator Scott Huizenga noted.
Building a new outdoor pool would cost $8 million and a new indoor facility would be several times that much. With no longer any support for busing swimmers to Grand Forks, repairs to the 1962-built pool seemed to be the middle ground all were willing to share.
"A new pool would require a bond issue that I don't think the public will pass," alderman Henry Tweten said in touting a rehab.
"I feel strongly about not closing it," alderman Mike Pokrzywinski said. "The pool complements the area where it is located, with the campground, playground and trails nearby. The location is as good as it gets."
Next year's swimming season is safe as the officials agreed to spend $21,000 to make the needed repairs to open the pool in June.
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