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Swimming pool repairs may cost less than expected

Swimming pool patrons may not miss a single day of fun next year if repairs can be made in a timely manner. The pool has been plagued with leaks all summer that have cost the city over 10,000 gallons of water a day.

Tekamah’s swimming pool closed for the year earlier this week. If all goes well, the pool will reopen on schedule next summer if necessary repairs can be made in a timely manner.

It could happen.

That’s because repairs to Tekamah’s leaky swimming pool may not be as extensive, or as costly, as first anticipated.

Maybe.

During the Aug. 8 Tekamah City Council meeting, Leslee Brenneis and Becky Rogers with the Pool Task Force urged the council to consider adding money into next year’s budget to pay for repairs. Brenneis said although all the details were not yet available, she understood $20,000 to be enough to make the repairs.

She said her number was based on a preliminary report prepared after testing was done at the pool to find the source of leaks that have cost the city over 10,000 gallons of water a day during the swim season.

Parks Commissioner Chad Zink reminded his colleagues on the council that a final report has not yet been submitted. He said leaks were discovered in several places, including sites where groundwater has pushed the drain out of place. Groundwater also has pushed apart seams that were previously caulked and may have moved one of the basin walls as much as eight inches.

Street Superintendent Matt Deemer said no final determinations on what repairs will be needed have been made and none will be forthcoming until after more testing is done once the pool is drained.

The city paid a similar bill to make similar repairs at the pool two years ago.

Zink speculated that kind of repair money is likely to become a recurring expense at the 46-year-old facility.

The task force also received the council’s blessing to talk with several consulting firms about options for a new facility. Brenneis said a new pool would be at least four or five years away. In the meantime, she said the task force has undertaken fundraising projects to make matching funds available for grant applications. Rogers said major grant funds are available, “but they all require a plan and we don’t have one of those yet.”

In other business Aug. 8, the council:

—Gave formal approval to the agreement with Sioux Contracting to perform renovation work at City Auditorium.

The Sioux City company was expected to be on the job this week if air quality tests allowed. The testing is required following the completion of asbestos abatement work late last week.

The council also approved using 10-year bonds to pay part of the renovation cost instead of the 20-year bonds initially considered. City Clerk Karolyn McElroy said going to a 10-year bond, will cut the city’s interest costs nearly in half and lessen its annual payment.

“We just have to be sure to refinance them before the 10 years is up,” she said.

—Passed with the emergency clause Ordinance 1294 which updates the city’s zoning map and amends its zoning regulations. Passing the ordinance makes official a change the council approved July 25, changing the zoning area encompassing Midwest Service’s property at the south end of town from Highway Commercial, or C2, to Industrial.

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