April 16, 2007

Schwichtenberg's $200,000 gift will preserve LP pool for future

By Ivan Raconteur
Staff Writer

The late Arthur Schwichtenberg was a major supporter of the Lester Prairie pool during his lifetime, and a $200,000 bequest from the Arthur Schwichtenberg trust will continue that support for generations to come.

“This may be the biggest donation ever received by the city,” Mayor Eric Angvall said.

During last Monday’s council meeting, the city council noted that Schwichtenberg had been extremely generous in his donations to the city in the past.

The $200,000 bequest received last week is different, in that the funds will be reserved for the “maintenance, repair, replacement, and/or perpetuation” of the city pool.

The bequest was made on the condition that the funds be used only for pool improvements, and not for routine maintenance or day-to-day operation of the pool.

The council adopted a resolution accepting the gift and agreeing to the terms.

“It is not very often you vote on something to commit future councils,” Angvall commented.

If the current or future city councils were to use the funds for purposes other than those specified, the city would be in violation of the terms of the agreement, and would be required to return the money to the Arthur Schwichtenberg Trust.

City Clerk Marilyn Pawelk said the funds will be maintained as a separate line item, and will be listed as “restricted” on the city audit.

The council discussed using only the interest from the gift, and retaining the principle, ensuring that the pool will be maintained for generations to come.

“Art and I talked about this several times. He liked the idea of solar heating, innovative improvements, and enhancements to the pool. It was his last wish to still remember the pool,” Angvall said.

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