By Anna Jauhola
Hallock’s pool will be up and running with new plumbing this summer and may include a new pump, which would create the ability to reopen the kiddie pool by 2021.
At the Hallock City Council Monday, March 2, Utilities Superintendent Dan Larson said he has visited with the Hallock Community Fund group regarding funding for a new electric pump. This pump would also include a strainer basket assembly and cost $6,000.
“I think this is the time to put it in,” Larson said. “We’re going to do all the plumbing right now on the new piping with the filter and everything. If we plumb it in with the existing pump and strainer assembly, then if in five years, if the pump quits, and we have to put in a new pump, then we have to replumb everything. So this is the time to do it and save us some money down the road.”
In August 2019, the city had to close the public pool early because the 30-plus-year-old filter exploded. The new filter will be installed late this spring but updating the pump and strainer assembly will ensure the use of the kiddie pool in 2021.
“I talked to Todd (Johnson) at the community fund and this was something they would likely be able to fund,” said City Clerk Aimee Sugden. “I’m just working on getting him some more numbers and background.”
The current pump and strainer assembly have been in place for more than 20 years, predating Larson’s employment with the city. Horizon Commercial Pool Supply won’t have the pump in stock for a month, Larson said, so the council didn’t take any action on the issue at the meeting.
Larson also asked to purchase a new trash pump, which the utilities department uses to drain standing water, especially during floods, and to drain down the pool twice a year. The pump is able to handle solids such as leaves and dead squirrels that occasionally appear in the pool.
“The pump worked last year but we had some trouble earlier in the summer when we were pumping down the pool and had to put new gaskets in it,” Larson said. “We got it operable and used it last fall during the flood.”
However, the city does not have a backup pump should this one fail. Larson asked to purchase a new one before spring flooding sets in because it would be near impossible to get one in the middle of a flood.
Due to a hastily-assembled budget this year, the council was unsure whether there was funding available for the purchase. They tabled the issue to dig into the budget and will revisit it at the April meeting.
The council did approve Larson to purchase paint for the pool. He will buy 5 gallons of blue paint for the rim of the main pool and the rim of the kiddie pool, and 10 gallons of white.
“Then we can paint the kiddie pool, too, and touch up the base of the main pool,” he said. “We normally get 20 gallons of white but we’re not going to do the deep end because that doesn’t get foot traffic.”
The council approved the purchase at $100 per gallon.
In other business, the council:
• Heard from Police Chief Mike Docken that he received a $5,000 grant from TC Energy, formerly TransCanada, to help replace the siren control boxes. He is also waiting to hear about additional funding from Enbridge. To replace all the siren control boxes, it will cost $14,000.
• Heard from Airport Manager Jeremy Seng about an economic impact study done on all municipal airports across Minnesota. The Department of Transportation Aeronautics division study showed Hallock’s airport, in 2019, had 447 visitors, provided employment for 23 people in the area and had a payroll of $601,540. The airport’s economic activity was $3 million, while its spending was $2.4 million. It created $103,190 in state and local tax revenues.
• Approved a resolution to update the MnDOT Airport Maintenance and Operation Grant Contract with current City Clerk Aimee Sugden’s name for a signature.
• Approved a safety manual for city employees as a part of the city’s decision to join the Regional Safety Group Initiative.
• Approved a zoning permit application for Thomas Lipinski to remove an existing shed on his property and build a new one in a slightly different spot.
• Approved an application for a temporary liquor license for the Kittson County Agricultural Society, which operates the beer garden and dance hall at the Kittson County Fair Grounds. The permit is for the 2020 Kittson County Fair.
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• Approved a change in a farm lease agreement between the city and Boychuk farms. The city agreed to a sublease from a relative of the Boychuks for the remaining two years of the lease. Mayor Dave Treumer abstained from voting.
• Approved an updated city hall rental agreement.
• Approved a list of updated travel per diem rates.
By Anna Jauhola