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W’bago pool repair cost increases

Council upset with additional $24,400 needed to paint the pool

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | May 16, 2021

The Winnebago City Council was upset at their meeting last week when they learned it could cost $24,400 more for the maintenance of the city’s pool.

The mood was not good when Winnebago City Council members received word from TMI Coatings, Inc. stating the company wanted an additional $24,400 for maintenance work they had been hired to perform on the Winnebago Swimming Pool.

The company cited unforeseen issues with the existing coating which arose during the painting project.

Council members questioned whether the company had done a thorough inspection before bidding on the project.

“How could they not know what the current coating was if they came and looked at it before bidding?” was a question which was asked more than once by council members.

City Attorney David Frundt said TMI’s contract, unfortunately, gives them a great deal of latitude when it comes to change orders.

“However, I would suggest a letter be sent to the company stating the city’s displeasure with the way the situation has been handled,” Frundt offered. “We may be able to recoup some money from the project.”

With the pool set to open for the summer in early June, the timeline for getting the pool ready is getting shorter.

After a long discussion, which included talking to a representative of TMI, the council approved the change order of $24,400 with the expectation the city will receive a $15,000 credit for using paint the city already has and having city employees and lifeguards apply the paint as they have done in the past.

In other pool related matters, the council also approved the hiring of lifeguards for the summer swimming season. Morgan Franklin was hired as the pool manager to replace Carol Weerts who resigned after last season.

The decision to vacate an alley on the block of Third and Fourth Avenue SW came back to the council again.

Earlier this year a proposal to vacate the alley was defeated.

“Since it is an existing alley, we have the choice of placing gravel all the way through the alley or leaving it as it currently is which is only half-graveled,” city administrator Jacob Skluzacek told council members.

After some discussion, it was decided to have Bolton and Menk survey the alley first to ensure all the property lines are correct and then gravel the rest of the alley.

It was not the only street issue the council dealt with.

A proposal to pave First Street NW and Seventh Avenue NW from Third Avenue NW to U.S. Highway 169 at a cost of $81,223.50 was brought to the council.

“This would be handled as a change order and would have to come out of the city’s street budget for the year,” city engineer Travis Winter explained. “Ulland Brothers will be in town and the quote is much lower than if we were to bid the project out now.”

Council members were in favor of the project.

“It might mean some of the other street projects do not get done this year but now is the time to do this,” council member Paul Eisenmenger said. “Everyone who attended the utilities committee meeting agreed this was a good idea.”

A motion to go ahead with the paving passed by a unanimous vote.

Winter also gave an update on the NW Project.

“Holtmeier has been working through the punch-list of items to take care of,” Winter commented. “They are getting prepared for the final wear course paving which should be completed later this week.”

Skluzacek and mayor Scott Robertson talked about the progress being made on the LOVE Winnebago volunteer project.

“Greenfield Global has stepped up and will provide 100 T-shirts and water for those participating in the volunteer day,” Robertson said.

Skluzacek also had some information on local groups who are helping out.

“First Financial Bank in Winnebago is going to supply garbage bags to help with any cleaning projects,” Skluzacek informed the council. “Our Savior’s Lutheran Church is going to provide a hot dog lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.”

The council also:

• Voted to grant a variance request to Chris Anderson to allow him to construct a hoop shed for storage of ag equipment and dry hemp in an R-1 district.

• Decided to continue with a two-day per week contract for EDA specialist Angie Stier through the end of 2021.

• Voted to approve a three percent pay increase for police chief Eric Olsen following his annual review.

• Approved a three percent pay increase for Judi Hynes following her six-month probationary review.

• Voted to renew Township Fire Contracts with Center Creek, Delavan, Nashville, Prescott, Verona and Winnebago townships for a one-year period instead of the normal two-year period. The annual cost amount for renewal remains the same as the previous contracts.