2012 a good year at the NYA pool

New attractions and promotions, along with a hot summer, made the West Carver Community Pool a popular destination for local residents this year.

The Norwood Young America City Council heard a report on the swimming season from pool manager Jenni Aune during its regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 8.

“We had another safe and successful summer at the pool,” said Aune.

A total of 393 students participated in swimming lessons at the pool, and the peak attendance for an afternoon and evening of open swimming was 222 patrons.

“We were pleased to have two new slides added to the pool this summer. One larger slide located in deep end and another smaller drop slide located in the shallow end. In addition to the slides, an ADA lift was installed for patrons with disabilities. These improvements make the pool more appealing and inviting,” said Aune.

Councilor Jim Keller asked Aune if she had noticed an uptick in pool usage with the new slides this year, and Aune replied that the overall numbers were definitely higher this season. In fact, open swim attendance, combining afternoon and evening sessions, topped 100 patrons on 29 different days this summer.

The pool also had several free admission days and half-price Fridays during the season, at least one of which also led to another 200-plus patron day.

Council members also asked Aune what additional improvements could be made at the pool going forward. Aune recommended “funbrellas” to replace the current table umbrellas, and added that the eventual addition of more play structures and a zero-depth entry point are on the long-term wish list.

Rental rate request
Following Aune’s presentation, the council heard from a number of representatives from the local Lions Clubs, who requested that the city drop rental fees for service groups who use city buildings like the Pavilion for fundraisers.

Mary Spille told council members that she understood there were insurance and upkeep costs that the city needed to cover, but she added that the $150 fee for renting the Pavilion can cut the profit that the Lions make at fundraisers like a pancake breakfast by up to 25 percent.

She also informed the council that Lions Clubs in Hamburg, Carver, Green Isle and Plato use city buildings at no cost in trade for their service.

Spille and others also highlighted some of the projects the NYA Lions Club and West Carver Lions have done for the benefit of the city or local residents, including park buildings, sponsorship of local activities and causes, sponsorship of school and Stiftungsfest activities, scholarships, and much more.

“We like to think that Norwood Young America is a better community because of the things we’ve been able to do,” said Spille.

Council members thanked the Lions for their service, and said they would consider the fee amount going forward.

“I can’t say enough. I think you guys do a wonderful job,” said Mayor Tina Diedrick.

Regardless of the council’s decision, the Lions made it clear in a letter to the council that they would continue working for the community to the best of their ability.

“No matter what thoughts the council may have, we plan to be here for many years to come doing our thing,” the letter said. “WE SERVE!”

In other business, the council:
• Approved the appointment of Erich Schmidt to the fire department. The addition of Schmidt brings the department’s roster to 28 members, but up to three of those firefighters could be retiring toward the end of the year.

• Approved a prosecution contract with the Carver County Attorney’s Office for service in 2013. Due to a reduced case load, the city’s cost for that service is decreasing from $5,324.76 in 2012 to $4,959.73 next year.

Over the past three years, NYA has contributed 6.37 percent of the cases handled by the attorney’s office. Of the other cities in Carver County with the exception of Chanhassen, only Waconia (11.47 percent), Victoria (11.98 percent) and Chaska (54.93 percent) have contributed a higher number of cases.

• Authorized advertising a request for qualifications for city attorney services. The city has used the same law firm since the merger, and it has been years since the city made a formal request for quotes. The council suggested advertising for quotes earlier this year in order to see if any cost savings could be obtained by potentially using a different firm.

• Authorized advertisement for a full time public works employee to fill a position that has been vacant since July.

• Approved a change in by-laws for the fire department relief association reflecting a change in the annual lump sum pension amount to $1,700.

• Approved the appointment of Kyle Strickfaden to the NYA Economic Development Commission for a two-year term to replace John Fahey, who resigned in July. Strickfaden has a decade of experience as an accountant and is pursuing an MBA. His expertise, according to a memo from Economic Development Coordinator Christie Rock, includes marketing, strategic planning and business development.

• Approved a final payment of $4,704.78 to Caldwell Asphalt Co., Inc. for crack sealing and seal coating work. The City of Cologne will reimburse NYA for some of those costs according to a joint agreement signed between the cities.

• Called for a public hearing on assessments for delinquent utilities and special assessments on certain properties on Monday, Nov. 26 at 6:30 p.m.

• Rescheduled the workshop, EDA meeting and city council meeting set for Monday, Nov. 12 to Tuesday, Nov. 13 due to the observance of Veteran’s Day on that Monday.

• Approved amendments to the restrictive covenants in the Tacoma West Industrial Park governing setbacks and landscaping requirements.