8/29/2013 3:00:00 PM New pool to be studied by council
by Ken Haggerty
The Cannon Falls city council unanimously voted at its August 20 meeting to hire a consultant to conduct a feasibility study on building a new city pool.
The council approved hiring USAquatics out of Delano, MN for an estimated $8,000 to conduct the study.
City administrator Aaron Reeves said there is probably about $100,000 in maintenance costs coming up in the next few years (painting, equipment, parking lot, other). Reeves also mentioned that the pool does not meet current Americans with Disabilities Act standards, but is operating under a waiver.
Reeves said it seemed like a good time to at least get an idea of what the community would be interested in having and putting some numbers to a plan. He said that other communities like Kasson and Pine Island that have built or are planning a new pool have seen projects come in with about a $3 million price tag.
Other communities like Zumbrota, Kenyon, Wanamingo and Byron are also investigating what to do with their older community pools, Reeves said.
Reeves said most of the new projects end up being more than just a pool. New facilities usually get labeled as an aquatics center and feature more large slides and splash toys, zero-entry shallow areas, and a more user-friendly building.
Reeves said before moving forward with any spending, a project would be put up to a citywide single item referendum. Reeves said there would be some expense to a special election, but not as much as in a multi-item ballot.
Council member Morris Mattson said he knows that some Cannon Falls people leave town to go swimming at the bigger complex in Red Wing.
Council member LeRoy McCusker said he is old enough to remember when the community had a fundraising drive to build the current pool. He was wary of a big project and wondered if some improvements to the current pool could be a more economical option.
Reeves said they are looking for community input on the study and are looking for volunteers who would be willing to be part of a committee.