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It is time for fun, sun and swimming

By Staff | Jun 14, 2020

This Winnebago ambulance was damaged in a storm last week.

The swimming pool in Winnebago will open on June 22. This was the news the Winnebago City Council heard from pool manager Carol Weerts at their meeting on Tuesday, June 9.

“We can operate at 50 percent capacity,” Weerts told the council. “We are rated for 260 people so we will be able to accommodate 130 people at the pool.”

Weerts explained there are many guidelines which have to be implemented in order to operate the pool.

“We are only supposed to be open to our local community, we cannot provide life jackets and we will not be able to use the slide,” Weerts said. “In addition there will be no pool parties. Signs listing the guidelines will be posted in English and Spanish.”

The later than normal opening and the financial hardship some families are facing because of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a discussion and eventual motion on reducing the cost of season passes.

On a motion by Calvin Howard, the council voted to reduce family season passes from $100 to $80, adult season passes from $70 to $60 and student passes from $60 to $50.

“There will be changes in the way we give swimming lessons,” Weerts mentioned. “Levels one, two, and three will all have to be private lessons. The parent will have to be in the water with their son or daughter because the lifeguard cannot have contact with the child.”

Lessons for levels four, five and six will be available but for only seven students at a time, according to Weerts.

The council also discussed private swimming pools located within city limits.

Following discussion they had a first reading of a change to the city ordinance which will require in-ground swimming pools to be completely enclosed within a chain link or similar fence which is six feet high. The second reading and adoption of the amended ordinance will be at the next council meeting on Tuesday, July 14.

Cari Jenkins of Winnebago Ambulance was also at the meeting to tell the council about damage which recently occurred to one of the ambulances.

“On June 2, our older ambulance got caught in the storm by Mankato while on a call and received hail damage,” Jenkins stated. “An insurance claim has been started and we are getting an estimate for repairs from Joe Cartwright.”

Jenkins was asked about the damage.

“The hood sustained a number of dents, there was paint damage and we had some lights broken at the back of the rig on top of the unit,” she explained. “There were also dents on top of the box but we probably will not do anything with those.”

City engineer Travis Winter also attended the meeting. It was the first time he has attended in person since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is nice to be able to speak to you in person,” Winter shared. “The Northwest Street Project is 59 percent complete. The good weather has provided the opportunity for the construction to get ahead of schedule.”

The council voted to authorize payment of pay estimate No. 13, in the amount of $644,279, to Holtmeier Construction for work completed on the Northwest Street Project.

“I would like to say thanks to the residents,” council member Rick Johnson said. “They have been very accommodating and understanding during the construction process.”

The council also took up a recommendation by the Planning and Zoning committee and approved a variance for the city of Winnebago concerning the ballfield adjacent to the former elementary school building. The variance is for a setback of only 30 feet from the adjacent property (school) instead of the usual 80 feet. The variance will allow the public to utilize the driveway for when baseball or softball games are played on the field.

In other business:

The council granted a noise permit to Kinsey Stauffer for a wedding reception on June 27, from 5-10 p.m.

A fee of $10 was set as the cost for a permit to raise chickens and/or pot-bellied pigs in conjunction with the recently passed animal ordinance.

The council awarded a bid to Meyer Plumbing and Heating of Blue Earth, in the amount of $7,200, to replace the furnace and air conditioning unit in the city hall building.

It was reported the playground at West City Park has been completed.