City updated on water park

FAIRMONT — The Fairmont City Council heard a report on Monday recapping the 2017 activity at the Fairmont Aquatic Park. Although the total daily patron count hit 21,500 last year, that number was about 4,000 less than 2016. Patrons purchased 220 seasonal family passes, and 466 people took swimming lessons.

“The daily patron count was down a little bit, but 2016 was a really good year,” City Finance Director Paul Hoye told the council. Records were broken in 2016 for patron count (25,600), single family passes sold (234) and swimming lesson participants (521).

During 2017, the pool employed 89 seasonal staff members consisting of lifeguards, concession/guest services staff and management team members. Labor continues to be one of the pool’s biggest expenses, but staff turnover is minimal.

Revenues for 2017 were $169,000, with expenses running $430,000. Capital improvements of $26,000 refurbished the slides in the kiddie pool.

The aquatic park will open at noon June 2 for the 2018 season. Admission remains $5 per person 2 years of age and older. A single season pass is $115, and a family pass is $165.

“We’ve maintained those rates for several years,” Hoye said.

This year’s season at the pool will be similar as 2017 with the pool opening at noon daily. An early morning lap swim from 11 a.m. to noon has been added on Saturdays.

After the park closes at the end of the season, the two big slides will be gel-coated. Hoye said that the slides are the original equipment from when the aquatic park opened in 1999 and have never been resurfaced.

The council approved several event permits utilizing city parks.

The annual neighborhood block party for the Veterans Park area will be held from 5-7 p.m. May 23 at the park. The event, which is open to the public, offers a free meal of grilled hot dogs and chips, kids games, music and information booths.

Two event permits were granted for Memorial Day. American Legion Post 36 will have a flag raising at 9:30 a.m. at Veterans Park, followed by a parade from the park north on Prairie Avenue and east on Winnebago Avenue to the Martin County Veterans’ Memorial Park, where a program will be held.

The Martin County Preservation Association/Red Rock Center will host its annual Memorial Day community picnic from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with music and a petting farm at Blue Earth Avenue and Elm Street.

The Sylvania Park band shell will be the site for Rock N Que for the Kids from 5:30-8 p.m. May 25, The event will raise funds for the youth at Grace Lutheran Church. There will be barbecue for sale and a live band playing classic and Southern rock.

In other business, the council:

q Approved 2018/2019 beverage license renewals for 29 Fairmont businesses.

q Approved an agreement with Verizon for five small cell units to spread the data demand load. The units will be located on light poles by the Salvation Army on Blue Earth Avenue, by St. Paul Lutheran Church on Victoria Street, by Fairmont Elementary School, and on Highway 15 by Kwik Trip and by 10th Street.

q Approved the fifth amendment to a contract with AT&T to lower the monthly rent for an antenna on the water tower from $2,791 to $2,500.

q Approved a task order for KLJ, the city’s airport consultant, to complete the design for the new hangar and taxiways around the building for an engineering fee of $114,000.

q Set the next council meeting for 5:30 p.m. June 11. The council’s normal meeting day falls on Memorial Day.