Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



Stephen (Minn.) Volunteer Fire Department fills private pools for town's residents

Korey Sundby, Stephen, Minn., assistant fire chief, holds the hose while filling a resident's private swimming pool. (Photo/Gannon Nelson)

STEPHEN, Minn -- Knowing that Stephen residents aren’t yet able to take a dip in the public pool, the town’s volunteer fire department is filling the private pools of residents.

The Stephen City Council is waiting to find out what Gov. Tim Walz’ next order will say about rules for public places during the coronavirus pandemic before it opens the town’s pool, said BreAnne Patterson, Stephen city clerk-treasurer. Stephen is about 50 miles northwest of Grand Forks in Marshall County.

“It’s still wait and see,” Patterson said.

But, even if the pool does open, it will be at least a month before that happens.

The pool is a popular spot not only with residents of Stephen but also for neighboring towns and visitors, Patterson said. The capacity of the Stephen pool, in the town of about 650, is about 100 swimmers.


While the council waits to get direction from Walz' next order, the city council wanted to do something so residents who have their own pools can enjoy them. During the past week, the Stephen Volunteer Fire Department filled the pools of three homeowners and plans to fill one more.

The fire department pumped a total of about 30,000 gallons of water into the pools, said Gannon Nelson, a member of the fire department. The cost per 1,000 gallons to homeowners is $5.58. With the warm weather of this week, the sun should warm the water fairly quickly, and the pools' owners will be able to enjoy them.

“As you fill pools, it kind of gives you anticipation of summer,” Nelson said.

Gannon Nelson, a Stephen, Minn., volunteer firefighter sprays water into a holding pond that was used to fill a private pool in Stephen last week. (Photo/Gannon Nelson)

Ann is a journalism veteran with nearly 40 years of reporting and editing experiences on a variety of topics including agriculture and business. Story ideas or questions can be sent to Ann by email at: abailey@agweek.com or phone at: 218-779-8093.
What To Read Next
Get Local