When Summer 2020 began, the aquatic center in Redwood Falls was not open, and no one knew for sure if it would open at all for the season.
After a few unknowns were finally answered and guidance was offered, the city parks and recreation department, based on guidance from the city council, opened for an abbreviated season at the end of June.
When the pool closed for the season, officials deemed the decision to open was the right one.
According to Ross Nachreiner, Redwood Falls parks and recreation director, who presented an update of the aquatic season to the city council Sept. 1, the season was 53 days long, adding the pool season was extended longer than anticipated because of the changes in the fall high-school athletic seasons.
During those 53 days, there were 12,300 visitors at the facility during the season – a daily average of 253 people.
The season was ideal, added Nachreiner, as there was never a day when the pool was scheduled to be open that it had to be fully closed.
Yes, he added, there were times when a day may have had to be shortened, but this was the first season when there was no day when the pool could not be open at all.
“I feel we had a very successful year,” said Nachreiner.
He added in a typical year the aquatic center experiences a loss in the area of $87,000, while this season the loss was closer to the $30-35,000 range.
In addition, Nachreiner said there were no reported cases of coronavirus connected to the pool.
The concession sales were also a success, added Nachreiner.
Projected revenue for the season was $151,000 for 2020. The actual revenue was $77,661.92.
Total expenses were $119,693.18. The anticipated expenses exceeded $238,000.
Nachreiner expressed his appreciation to the staff for the hard work it put in this season, adding they really went above and beyond this summer.
In other action during its meeting, the council:
• Approved the employment of Trent Skjefte as a utility line worker at a starting wage of $28.10 per hour with a start date of Sept. 17.
• Approved a proposal to upgrade the HVAC system at city hall at a cost of $46,185. The funds to cover the cost for this work will come from the federal CARES Act allocation the city received.
• Approved a proposal to upgrade the HVAC system at the fire hall at a cost of $45,082. The city will use $31,902 of CARES Act funds for this project, with the remaining $13,180 coming from the city budget for this year. According to Keith Muetzel, the portion the city is paying for was already part of the city’s budget, and under CARES Act stipulations the city can’t spend those allocated funds for projects that were already planned.
• Approved the final payment for the courthouse square improvements in the amount of $60,542.03. The final contract price total for the project was $1,055.279.15.
• Approved a request to allow a livestream company known as LiveBarn install equipment that would allow for the live streaming of certain events in the Redwood Area Community Center. There is no cost to the city, and it will receive 30 percent of revenue generated.