Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Feb. 18, 2002

Lester pool diving boards to stay

By Julie Yurek

Lester Prairie City Council voted 4-1 Monday to keep the diving boards in place for this year.

Council member Rose Halloran voted against keeping the diving boards. Halloran represented the park board.

"The recommendation of the park board is to have the diving boards removed," she said.

"The pool does not meet state requirements and we are putting the city at liability (risk)," she said.

"The sides slope inward, and a child could hit that while diving," Halloran said. "It's an accident waiting to happen."

"That could happen if someone jumped off the side of the pool," Mayor Eric Angvall said.

"That's true," Halloran said.

Park board member Chris Schultz questioned whether the city would be insured if the boards stayed.

"We will look into that," Angvall said.

The council suggested that Halloran have the park board pursue alternatives, like a slide, in place of the boards.

The park board recommended that if the boards stayed, the steps to the boards have to be made non-slippery, Halloran said.

"It is up to the park board to decide some rules for the use of the boards. Maybe the boards will have to be for jumping only," Angvall said.

Schultz suggested the council look at adding a new outdoor pool to the proposed joint facility with the school and city.

The management and funding for the pool could go into the facility's budget, he said.

"If the city could remove at least part of that pool off of the park board's staff, into some other type of fund and management, that opens the park board up to a lot better job with the two new parks that we have," Schultz said. "That's just my opinion, not the park board's."

Longhorn Days update

Some events for Longhorn Days are still undecided.

If the fun run/walk committee can get liability insurance, a cannon can be used at the start of the race and for a demonstration, Angvall said.

"The cannon shoots potatoes," Ron Hubert, a committee member, said. "The wadding is shirts and things like that. No ammunition.

"The potatoes would be shot over the cemetery," he said.

Also, the committee is looking into adding in-line skating to the event, Hubert said. It depends on how much insurance would cost for that too, he said.

The Prairie Archers Club would like to demonstrate archery to the public, Jim Richardson, the club's secretary, said.

"I think it's a good idea," Angvall said.

"Just come back to us with a formal plan of where this demonstration would be," he said.

Unrelated to Longhorn days, Richardson mentioned to the council that the club would like to have a 900 shoot within the city limits Sunday, June 2.

"We usually have it out at the sportsmen's club, but they have graduation. We just need a level grassy area," Richardson said.

"The site will be inspected by our state representative of the insurance company for safety," he said.

"Talk to the park board about a location," Angvall told Richardson.

Connie Gatz requested that Second Avenue South and half of Oak Street South close earlier on Wednesday, June 19 so the carnival can begin setting up. Last year, the street closed at noon, she said.

This year, the council agreed to close it a little earlier. The street will be closed Wednesday, June 19 at 8:30 a.m. until Monday, June 24 at noon.

The council also approved the carnival concession opening Thursday evening so the carnival can run a special discount, one-day-only ride ticket. Also, fireworks were approved for Saturday night.

Nathan Ide, of the 4-H club, is interested in the club putting on a petting zoo in the demolition derby area either Friday night or Sunday, Connie Gatz said.

"That's fine, as long as he cleans up whatever was left behind," council member Ron Foust replied.

Also, Halloran questioned why the park board was not receiving any profit from Longhorn Days.

The park is used more now for the festival, and it takes a lot of upkeep, Halloran said.

"When this was all started, it was agreed everything would go to the fire department," Gregory Gatz replied.

"Could that be changed?" Angvall asked.

"It's up to the fire department to decide that," Gatz said.

The council requested that the idea be brought up at the next fire department meeting.

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