New city pool on track for grand opening

Craig Moorhead

The Caledonia Argus

On May 8, the Caledonia City Council took steps to make sure  everything is on track for the June 6 grand opening of the new city pool.

“The drop slide arrived today, along with the water feature, so that’s now up at the pool, “city administrator Adam Swann reported, “and it looks like it should be installed some time in the middle of next week.

“The concrete deck is finished, the diving board is in place, and things are starting to come along pretty quick. Lots of things are going to be happening next week.”

The pool may be filled towards the end of the week (May 19) to check out pumps and filters, Swann noted. But the installation of a new gas meter is needed before the water heater can be tested.

Amenities for swimmers were on the agenda. Members approved the purchase of 20 new chairs to go with four that councilman Bob Burns bought locally and donated to the project. The Parks and Rec fund will pay for those, which Burns said only cost about $17 each. An offer from Canteen Vending was also approved. The company will provide four vending machines to the park area, two of which will be located inside the pool fence. Those will dispense snacks and sodas, and have credit/debit card readers as well as “Pay Range” for mobile purchases, according to a company spokesman. Burns said that if the machines are profitable, the company can pay the city for providing the locations and electricity.

Electrical box brings split vote

City electrician Matt Blocker led council members outside to see where a new electrical service box will be located. Blocker said that the hookup for the new Wild Turkey substation requires that the structure be located north of the water tower behind city hall, near a park area. He explained the complex assortment of underground utilities and setbacks that will determine just where the $27,000 box  (measuring six feet by six feet) will need to go. Two council members (Randi Vick and Paul Fisch) voted “no” on the motion to place the box where Blocker suggested. But mayor DeWayne “Tank” Schroeder, Burns, and Robert Lemke approved the plan.

Blocker said that once the old substation (north of the fire station) is decommissioned, it will be removed.

Other votes

A potential public nuisance brought council action. The owner of a property in the vicinity of Sunrise Lane was sent a certified letter on April 21, informing him that since the parcel is zoned R-1 (residential), it “may not be used for a salvage yard, junk yard, or similar industrial/commercial use.”

“That initial notice was to let the landowner know that there may be an issue,” Swann said. “The council then has the discretion to determine that A) Yes, there is a nuisance, and B) to provide the property owner with a specified period of time to bring that property into compliance.

“That is going to take quite some time (to clean up),” Vick said. “Can we review it in 30 days?”

“He knows it’s a mess, he knows he’s got to get it cleaned up,” Schroeder said. “I’ll keep an eye on him. It’s not a junk yard. It’s zoned residential.”

The mayor added that the council may also have to act on a potential nuisance on West Main Street as well.

A motion by Vick then stated that the property is a nuisance, and that the council will review the situation in 30 days. It passed by unanimous vote.

Members also approved (as part of their consent agenda) ambulance subsidy agreements with the City of Eitzen, Mayville Township, Mound Prairie Township, Sheldon Township, Wilmington Township, and Winnebago Township.

Another vote approved an offer from public sector human resources consultant Paul Ness (Rosemount) to “work on a review/update of the city’s base pay program.” The cost will be $4,440 plus time and mileage for three on-site meetings. Burns estimated that the total would be “about $5,600,” adding that the project would simplify pending labor negotiations.

Liquor store update:

Swann reported that improvements to the city-owned liquor store are expected to take about two weeks to complete, with work beginning on May 10. The business will soon boast new flooring and newly-painted walls.

The city administrator also reported that he has received word that Senior Dining is set to move to the elementary school, beginning on June 1 – pending approval from the Caledonia school board.