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Pool committee raises over $20,000, but needs $93,500

By Staff | Aug 26, 2018

Another look at what a new second slide would look like. It is the darker slide on the right, while the current slide, lighter color, is on the left of it.

As part of their work session last Monday evening, the Blue Earth City Council learned how the fundraising efforts of a New Pool Slide Committee is coming along.

The answer was sort of, ‘not too bad, but a long way to go.’

Dave Kittleson, the chairman of the committee, gave the report to the council. He listed all of the fundraising efforts to date, which included lifeguard fundraising events, letters sent out with city utility bills and ads in the newspaper and on the radio.

“We also had a booth at the county fair,” Kittleson said. “And the pool lifeguards manned the booth. They made $554 there.”

So far the committee has raised just over $20,000 in donations that have come from over 100 different people and groups. The Kiwanis Club of Blue Earth just last week donated $500 to the fund, Kittleson added, and they are hoping to hear from other service clubs and organizations.

The cost of the new slide, however, is at $93,500.

“We have also made application for two grants which together would total another $15,000 for the slide fund,” Kittleson said. “One was from Southern Minnesota Initiative Fund and one from the Huisman Foundation.”

Blue Earth Community Pool manager Michelle Hall and lifeguard Grace Leland both said the new slide would be a big draw for the pool.

“We have heard a lot of excitement about the new slide coming already,” Hall said. “It will be longer, faster than the current one, and will be covered.”

The current slide often has a line waiting to use it, Leland said. She added that having a new slide would be a real treat for the kids and would bring more kids to the pool.

The reason the slide committee had been invited to give a report at the work session is because the council is starting their study of the 2019 city budget.

City Administrator Tim Ibisch said after the meeting that the council could decide to budget for the balance needed for the slide during budget talks in the two September council meetings.

“It will be up to the council to decide what action to take (about the slide),” Ibisch said. “I know the council has been trying to do some large park and rec project each year, so they could decide to do something about this.”

If there is a decision made this fall about the new slide, it could be installed next spring.

The City Council members did tell Kittleson and the slide committee members who were present at the meeting that they appreciated all the work on fundraising for the slide project.

The slide was not the only park and rec item mentioned during the work session.

Public Works Department supervisor Jamie Holland discussed the possibility of adding three new campsites at the city owned campground at the Faribault County Fairgrounds.

“The cost would be about $9,000 for the work to make them,” Holland said. “We have quite a demand for the campsites so it could be worthwhile to add three more.”

Holland presented the idea as part of this proposed budget for 2019.