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BE Council says ‘Yes’ to new $6,000 weight equipment

By Staff | Feb 28, 2008

People using the weight equipment at the Faribault County Fitness Center are going to have a whole lot of new choices for what to lift.

The Blue Earth City Council voted to spend $6,390 to purchase a large group of used weight equipment for the center.

Fitness Center Director Michelle Hall was at the meeting to present the proposal to the council. She said that the equipment had come out of a closed 24-hour facility in northern Minnesota. It had been purchased by Tom Simonson of Frost.

“The equipment is worth between $16,000 and $24,000 and we can get it for $6,000 plus tax,” she said.

Hall said that the current equipment is old and does have some safety issues, but is still usable.

However, this opportunity means that they will not have to purchase any weight equipment for many years. “It’s a once in a lifetime deal,” she said. “He (Simonson) is basically selling it to us for what he has in it.”

Plus he is willing to deliver it and spend about a week setting it all up, she added.

City Administrator Ben Martig said that although the purchase is not scheduled or in the capital outlay plan, he still advised that the council buy it because it is such a great deal.

“We had scheduled a new card entry system and some other items for this year, but we do recommend the council proceed with this as well,” Martig said. “It will probably mean that we will not show a profit at the club for this year because of it,” he added.

Hall said that the weight equipment is used by 80 percent of the members, and is the top draw. “People buy the membership because of the weight equipment,” Hall said.

The purchase is of 25 units of weight equipment, she said. The club will keep some of their current weight equipment and add the new items in as much as possible.

Councilman Dick Maher said that he felt this will make the club’s weight room “state of the art, especially for Blue Earth.”

Other Business

In other business at last Monday’s regular meeting, the council:

• Heard a report from Fire Chief Terry Campbell comparing the current aerial/ladder truck with a newer one. He said the current one has a value of $5,000 if it was in excellent condition. He added that it would take about $200,000 to fix it up, with new engine, transmission and hydraulics. “Its a safety issue now,” he said. “Our old truck has lived its life.”

A newer truck would cost in the $350,000 range, he said. A brand new a truck would be $900,000 to $1 million.

No action was taken at this time, but Martig said he will prepare a summary of financing options for the March council meeting.

• Authorized Police Chief Dean Vereide to accompany a group from United Hospital District to Alabama for training in emergency response.

• Authorized going ahead with the purchase of the Ag Center facility for the proposed expansion of the Little Luke’s Daycare at a cost to the city of $100. Martig said that the lease with the school, and the USDA grant and loan, are both nearly completed.