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Blue Earth OKs pool repair work

July 3, 2012
Jodelle Greiner - Staff Writer , Fairmont Sentinel

BLUE EARTH - Blue Earth City Council has decided to repair the steps at City Hall as well as some cracks around the pool.

There's a lot of minor cracking and one big crack near the southwest curve of the pool, said Kathy Bailey, city administrator. Resurfacing will seal off the little cracks, but the large one is coming from the bottom up.

"That one is likely to come back," she said.

The cracks have been a problem for four or five years. Bailey and Jamie Holland, public works director, have been looking for a solution for three years. SwedeBro of Ham Lake is the first contractor they have found that handles the problem. Bailey said the company's references are good. Cost of repairs will be $6,948.

Councilman Russ Erichsrud pointed out that since the cracks have been there a while, the work could be put off for a year and the cost figured into the next year's budget.

"They're not that huge," said Councilman Rick Scholtes.

"We don't have any areas that have popped out, but it's hard to know when it will," Bailey said.

"The number of cracks has doubled," Holland added.

"Let's get this done as soon as possible," said Councilman John Gartzke.

Meanwhile, the front steps of City Hall are covered in carpet, which is ripped, and the steps are in rough shape. The 2012 budget includes $5,000 for the steps to be fixed.

Bailey presented three options for removing the carpeting and grinding the steps to prep the surfaces of the front-entry, landing and ramp to the EDA room. They are:

o In a knockdown, as the pool would be resurfaced, the cost is $5,932. A neutral color to match the building would be used.

o A stencil design, popular with decks and sidewalks, is a quarter-inch thicker than the regular knockdown. Cost is $7,258.

o A full one-and-a-half-inch-thick stamped resurfacing troweled on heavy, with a form setting the pattern. Cost is $9,490.

Bailey said the cost is similar to the pool, even though the area is smaller because the steps and landings must be ground down.

"More manpower time," she said.

The council approved the pool repairs and the second option for City Hall for $7,258.

Turning to another issue, Holland talked about the compost pile. The city must do something about it before the state Pollution Control Agency starts issuing penalties.

"As long as we're working on it, there won't be penalties," Bailey said, "but we have to develop a plan."

Holland wanted to know how the council wants to deal with the 15 years of compost that has accumulated, if the city should continue taking in material and, if so, what is to be done with it.

"I want it gone, then we can start fresh," Holland said.

Hauling the piles to ethanol plants in the area was discussed, as was hauling it to the airport and putting it in windrows.

Gartzke suggested mulching the leaves and spreading it on farm land.

"It has to be composted first," Holland said. "One problem is getting farmers to accept the compost. We're long on organic material, right now."

Plus the compost can throw off the nitrogen levels in the soil.

In other business Monday, the council:

o Set a public meeting for July 11 to discuss proposed construction on Highway 169 and how detours will be set up.

o Set a public hearing for 5:05 p.m. Aug. 16 on vacating the alley between Winter Funeral Home and Blue Earth Drug's new location.

o Approved a grant agreement for the airport apron construction. The city's portion of the $500,000 price tag was $98,123, but has been reduced to $79,267, due to a lower interest rate for funding. Federal and state funding take care of the rest.



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