Herald JournalHerald Journal, Feb. 10, 2003

Fund drive for LP pool underway

A nine-day drive was kicked off Saturday, which is being counted as crucial by organizers for fund raising of the Lester Prairie pool.

The drive began with an intensive door-knocking campaign with members of the community task force going door-to-door throughout the City of Lester Prairie and areas of Bergen and Winsted Township, asking for donations to help renovate, enhance, and improve the Lester Prairie pool.

The task force would like to get 90 percent of its donations during the drive, which ends Sunday, Feb. 16. The goal is to raise a total between $160,000 to $170,000.

Obtaining the majority of the donations in the next week will allow the park board and city council to get the pool repairs and enhancements underway for completion by June 1 when the pool opens, according to pool organizers.

However, the fund is not starting at zero. Art Schwichtenberg of Lester Prairie donated $80,000 toward the fund. He would like to see the community match that, he said.

Of Schwichtenberg's $80,000 donation, $32,000 was spent on major pool repairs in Sept. 2002.

Many other surrounding communities are upgrading their pools, including Glencoe, Silver Lake, Norwood Young America, and Slayton.

Donations will vary among families, so the task force is asking for an average of $250 per family. That average would give the fund $150,000.

There are approximately 600 families in the community that are in a financial position to make a donation. However, there are about 100 families that are not in a position to contribute, according to pool organizers.

The $250 average donation only amounts to $12.50 a year. The pool is nearly 40 years old. If this renovation gave the pool at least another 20 years of life, it would only cost $12.50 per year.

The fundraiser will free up annual budgeted tax dollars in the park budget for other areas of Lester Prairie's parks.

Donations are tax deductible. Donations may be made out to "Donation for LP City Pool Fund" and can be sent to City of Lester Prairie, PO Box 66, Lester Prairie, MN 55354.

Members of the task force include Michele Anderson (city council member and park board chair); captains Doug and Sheila Jilek, Joe and Kit Radtke; Rick and Kristi Alberts, John and Catie Morley, Joe and Kathy Scoblic, and Ralph Machemehl.

Pool improvements

A list of improvements for the pool, some necessary, others optional, include:

· removal and replacement of concrete deck around pool, (covering same area as before) $21,258.

· sand pit $20,000

· commercial sand filter system $20,000.

· new one meter diving tower with 16 foot Duraflex diving board $8,500.

· refacing pool with Diamond Brite exposed aggregate finish $70,500.

· six foot water slide $20,000 or eight foot water slide $25,000 for deep end.

The six foot slide can be changed into different shapes, whereas the eight foot one cannot, Anderson said.

· four foot water slide for shallow end $5,000.

· replaster the wading pool $6,000.

· depth markers $1,500.

· thermal pool cove $15,000

· portable decktop pool vacuum $1,950

· three moveable lifeguard chairs with umbrellas $1,495 each.

· five pool ladders $500 each.

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