Herald JournalHerald Journal, Jan. 20, 2003

Task force formed to raise funds for LP pool

By Julie Yurek

The community of Lester Prairie will have an enhanced swimming pool this summer, if the community pool task force has anything to say about it.

A mix of young and old of about 25 people attended the meeting Thursday. The consensus of the group was to proceed with a fundraiser.

The group was excited, and many older members gave valuable advice from the fundraisers they have taken part in the past.

The fundraiser will kick off in February, with March 1 as the target date to raise the money by.

The minimum goal is $170,000. With that amount the pool would be operational, said Michele Anderson, city council member and park board liaison.

However, the top goal is to eventually raise a total of $250,000.

The additional $80,000 would be used to add items, such as slides, a water dome, and upgrading the wading pool so it connects to the big pool, she said.

"We want to make it more of a family atmosphere," said Chris Schultz, park board member.

The pool fund will not be starting from zero. Art Schwichtenberg of Lester Prairie has already donated $80,000 towards the fund. He would like to see the community match that, he said.

Of the $80,000, about $32,000 has been spent on pipe and skimmer repairs.

Now is the time to enhance our pool, Anderson said.

In September 2002, major repairs surfaced with the pool.

Cracked pipes were found and needed to be replaced, along with skimmers, which meant digging up the concrete deck.

Also, the non-slip surface was worn off and the diving boards needed to be removed. The life guard chairs were also taken out for the concrete removal. Due to constant repairs, one of the chairs needs to be replaced for sure, Anderson said.

Pool repairs and maintenance have cost $80,000 in recent years, Schultz said. "If we could spend less money on pool repairs, we could put that money into other park areas."

Anderson obtained quotes from Aqua Logic in Bloomington. Aqua Logic is where the city buys the pool's chemicals and equipment, she said.

Anderson went through a list of improvements for the pool, some necessary, others optional, she said.

· removal and replacement of concrete deck around pool, (covering same area as before) $21,258.

· sand pit $20,000

· commercial sand filter system $20,000.

· new one-meter diving tower with 16-foot Duraflex diving board $8,500.

· refacing pool with Diamond Brite exposed aggregate finish $70,500.

· six-foot water slide $20,000, or eight foot water slide $25,000 for deep end.

The six-foot slide can be changed into different shapes, whereas the eight-foot one cannot, Anderson said.

· four-foot water slide for shallow end $5,000.

· replaster the wading pool $6,000.

· depth markers $1,500.

· thermal pool cove $15,000

· portable decktop pool vacuum $1,950

· three moveable lifeguard chairs with umbrellas $1,495 each.

· five pool ladders $500 each.

Many other surrounding communities are upgrading their pools, Anderson said. She cited Glencoe, Silver Lake, Norwood Young America, and Slayton as some of those cities spending almost $1 million or more.

The fundraising team

Many members of the community ­ Lester Prairie residents, and Bergen and Winsted Township residents ­ will be needed to make the fundraiser a success, said Ed Mlynar, who assisted with organizing the fundraiser.

Mlynar named Anderson as captain, and then asked for three people to be tri-captains.

Doug and Sheila Jilek, Rick and Kristi Alberts, and John and Cathy Morley agreed to be tri-captains.

Each tri-captain will be in charge of 15 or so block or section workers. The block workers will canvass the city, while section workers cover the townships/rural school district area.

Each worker will receive an envelope with instructions and a short overview of the project.

The workers will go door-to-door to homes asking for donations. A separate group, mostly retired folks, will go to the businesses, Mlynar said.

A letter has already been sent by the city and park board, asking out-of-area vendors that service the city to donate towards the project.

Volunteers are not only needed for block or section workers, but also to put together packets and other projects. A resident suggested making copies of pool accessory pictures and diagrams for workers to take along to show residents.

Another task force meeting is Tuesday, Jan. 21 at city hall 8 p.m. Anyone interested in helping or wanting more information is welcome to come, Anderson said.

Donations can be made out to the Lester Prairie Pool Fund and can be sent or dropped off at city hall.

Thermometers will also be posted around the city to show donations, and literature may also be available, including Angvall Hardware, First Community Bank, the post office, and city hall.

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