The Spring Grove SWIM Center was the topic of discussion at last week’s Spring Grove City Council meeting. This photo was taken on Monday, June 2, as the middle ages were there for a special outing. PHOTO: MARLENE DESCHLER/SPRING GROVE HERALD
The Spring Grove SWIM Center was the topic of discussion at last week’s Spring Grove City Council meeting. This photo was taken on Monday, June 2, as the middle ages were there for a special outing. PHOTO: MARLENE DESCHLER/SPRING GROVE HERALD
When the Spring Grove SWIM Center opened last week, there were plenty of kids already signed up for swim lessons, Lorilyn Dehning told the Spring Grove City Council. Council member Dehning, who serves as a liaison for the facility, reported that 221 persons had enrolled for lessons prior to opening day, June 4.

The subject of the pool came up repeatedly during the June 3 council meeting. Earlier, members voted to establish an "ad-hoc committee" to begin a new fund drive for the facility. Dehning and council member Rachel Olerud,who also serves as a SWIM Center liaison, will be in charge of the effort.

Another vote approved some equipment and supplies purchases for the SWIM Center. Those included a $585 computer, two lifeguard chairs totaling $1636 and $600 worth of new uniforms. All but about $1200 of those items were already in the budget, Dehning said. In addition, once the swim season ends in August the council may consider taking bids to have the bottom of the pool refinished. A motion was made to do so, but later withdrawn.

Basketball court

A Spring Grove Parks Commission plan to make improvements to a city-owned basketball court will soon go out for sealed bids. Members voted to begin advertising on or about June 10, and accept bids for 30 days. Those will be opened at the second council meeting in July.

"Let's just see what the market costs would be," council member Robert Vogel said. Council member Nancy Nelson said that some funds are currently earmarked for the site in city budgets, but no exact dollar amount was provided.

Closed session/Corner Store

The council voted to go into closed session to discuss "personnel matters," and then voted to terminate Corner Store employees Brittany Stadtler, Aaron Zafft and Jackie Clauson when they resumed the meeting. City Attorney Joe Hammell said that an investigation into an after-hours party at the city-owned liquor store was the reason for the action.

The subject of the Corner Store also came up later, when Nelson made a motion to table further discussions on the future of the facility until January of 2015. The vote passed 3-2 with "no" ballots from Dehning and Vogel. Red's IGA owner Pat Longmire said he was disappointed with the decision.

"Why is the government involved in running the liquor store?" Longmire asked. He had expressed interest in adding a liquor store to his current business at a council meeting in April.

Members also voted to spend up to $600 for a new popcorn machine for the facility. Vogel cast a lone "no" vote on that measure.

Finally, Nelson made a motion to retract the termination towards the end of the meeting. She and Olerud voted "yes" while the other three members, including Mayor Bruce Poole, voted "no."

New banners offered

Resident Karen Bingham told the council that she had met with some "community-minded folks" who have offered to purchase up to 30 new Spring Grove banners to go up on the new light poles along Main Street. Two sample designs (one in black, one in red) were provided to the council, and Bingham suggested using both in an alternating pattern.

Nelson said that she preferred a specific type of Norwegian rosemaling design, and suggested placing the offer on hold until more alternatives were considered.

"I like the idea," Vogel said, making a motion to accept the banners and direct city staff to install them. The measure passed, with Nelson casting a single "no" vote. Bingham said that the banners could be up by July 4.

Attorney assignments

Members discussed liability issues with the city-owned football field, since school district events are often played there. Hammell offered to look into the matter, and "craft an agreement" that the school could sign with the city. "When the school is using the premises their insurance would cover it," he said.

Another topic for Hammell's attention came up when the council was asked to allow some small fireworks to be displayed on July 4 at a motocross event scheduled at the Spring Grove Commercial Park. He was asked to investigate what sort of ordinance the city would need to add to issue fireworks permits. Allowing fireworks at the motocross could occur via a resolution, Hammell said, but even that could get complicated since all state laws on the subject would need to be taken into consideration. Members said the topic will take some time to address, and would probably not even be placed on the agenda until August.

Maple Drive parking

With Maple Drive near Main now a one-way, striping for parking will be on one side only (at least for now), members decided. Those spaces will be angled.

Members also voted to change Spring Grove police officer Tyler Heiden's employment status from probationary to regular.