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Published February 07, 2012, 10:11 PM

EGF Swimmers to See Remodeled Pool in 2013

EAST GRAND FORKS, MN (WDAZ-TV) - Swimmers in East Grand Forks will have a fully remodeled swimming pool in 2013. The East Grand Forks city council voted unanimously Tuesday night to spend $1.56 million to repair the pool.

EAST GRAND FORKS, MN (WDAZ-TV) - Swimmers in East Grand Forks will have a fully remodeled swimming pool in 2013. The East Grand Forks city council voted unanimously Tuesday night to spend $1.56 million to repair the pool.

That $1.56 million is a 10 year loan from the city's Water and Light Department. Though one council member said it isn't his top priority, others agreed it's a strong and necessary investment in the community.

"I regard it as being a necessity," Council Member Henry Tweten said.

"Definitely not top on my priority, and I hope that we do look at the rest of those others, in my opinion our street issues and our waste water issues. But it's something that needs to be done and it won't get cheaper," Council Member Marc DeMers said.

The city will borrow money from the city-owned Water and Light Department, which will equal about $170,000 each year for 10 years in debt service.

"By contractual law, anything over our purchasing threshold, which typically is $100,000, requires formal action by the council. So it's the council just formally authorizing a budget amendment from one fund to the other," City Administrator Scott Huizenga said.

The Water and Light Department has about $1.56 million available because the Minnesota state auditor recommends a fund balance between 35 and 50 percent of the operations budget.

City council is making the pool renovations happen sooner by borrowing the money from a city-owned department instead of a traditional bond issue.

"By a traditional bond issue we would've had to wait until next year. So it speeds up the timing, gives us a little bit of interest rate savings but at the same time a better interest rate on the collection side for the Water and Light. So really I think a win-win," Huizenga said.

"I don't think there's any better priority than families and kids and parents. And a swimming pool is something that families enjoy and need," Mayor Lynn Stauss said.

There will be a few repairs done now so the pool can open this summer. The plan is to start major construction after swimming season in mid-August and have everything complete by June of 2013.

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