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Published July 24, 2012, 09:10 PM

EGF City Council Approves Renovation Bids; Mayor Stauss Plans To Reject it

The debate over the East Grand Forks city pool appears to be over... for now. Tonight, council members voted to accept current renovation bids, but Mayor Stauss plans on vetoing the almost 2 million dollar project.

EAST GRAND FORKS, MN (WDAZ-TV) - The debate over the East Grand Forks city pool appears to be over... for now.

Tonight, council members voted to accept current renovation bids, but Mayor Stauss plans on vetoing the almost 2 million dollar project.

The council was split in half tonight. But, one thing they all agree on - is they don't want to permanently close the doors on the city's only pool.

"I just haven't had anyone tell me not to do it," said Councilman, Wayne Gregoire.

"I strongly support it," said Councilman, Henry Tweten.

The council voted 4 to 3 in favor of the current renovation bids. But Mayor Stauss says it just isn't happening this year.

"I don't think we'll be proceeding with the swimming pool as planned right now," said East Grand Forks Mayor, Lynn Stauss.

"It isn't the top of my priorities for this city," said Councilman, Marc DeMers.

The big price tag, 2 million dollars, and the hike in taxes, has turned Mayor Stauss, and others away.

"2 million dollars to get the exact same pool? It seems a little pricey at this time," said DeMers.

Re-negotiating the bid price seems to be the next step. Council members even brought up the idea of eliminating parts of the project.

"We need to go through the budget process find out what exactly we have to have. I'm fully in favor of doing something to the pool."

"It's a contract for 1.4 million dollars and if you wanted to do for something less than you should re-bid."

But those in favor, say the pool isn't just a place to swim, it's a place to bring families together.

"You see mothers and fathers with little children, families are together, and isn't that what we want?" asked Tweten.

The council agrees keeping the pool doors open will require a substantial amount of money either way, and the save our pools group says they'll do whatever it takes.

"We are looking to write grants and any other gifts that we can find and it doesn't have to be just in this region, we're looking beyond this region," said Save Our Pools member, Melody Olstad.

The issue will be brought up at the next council meeting, but like he said tonight in the meeting, Mayor Stauss plans on rejecting the bids.

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