By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Lester Prairie City Council approved a change in responsibility for the daily operation of the city pool during its Feb. 17 meeting.
Mayor Andy Heimerl proposed the change, transferring the responsibility from the park board to city office staff.
This will include the day-to-day operations, as well as things like scheduling and conducting interviews for pool staff.
Heimerl said this will make it easier for the pool manager to get answers quickly when problems arise.
City Clerk Marilyn Pawelk said there have been a lot of conflicts related to the pool operation.
The city maintenance staff will continue to handle all maintenance issues at the pool, and Council Member Bob Messer will continue to serve as the pool liaison.
Fire department equipment approved
The council approved the purchase of a Bobcat Model 3400XL Utility Task Vehicle (UTV) at a cost of $19,384; and a 16-foot aluminum Triton trailer at a cost of $4,619 for the fire department.
The city received donations of $5,000 each from the Lester Prairie Lions Club and the Crow River Sno Pros toward the purchase of this equipment.
The UTV will allow the fire department to respond to fires and incidents not accessible by road.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• acknowledged receipt of a $3,211 franchise fee payment from Mediacom.
• approved easements between the city property at 100 Maple Street South and the adjacent Bondhus property.
• approved increasing the wages for the city’s three part-time police officers who work at least 250 hours per year by 30 cents per hour, resulting in a wage of $15.75 per hour. Police Chief Robert Carlson said this will make Lester Prairie competitive with the part-time police officer wages in Winsted and Silver Lake.
• amended a city ordinance to change the term “Roller Blade” (a trademark) to “inline skates.”
• heard an annual audit report from Ryan Engelstad of Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP. The city received an unmodified (clean) opinion, the highest possible.
• approved the purchase of two baby changing stations for the pool area at a total cost of $408.
• tabled the purchase of chairs for the pool deck proposed by the park board.
• approved the purchase of four benches for the softball field at a total cost of $2,000.