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Parks and recreation: Bus trip to Twins game is a big hit

By Staff | Jul 14, 2009

Discussion during the monthly Estherville Parks and Recreation meeting Monday ranged from bus trips and blooming flowers to the election of new officers.

Looking at the annual budget that ended on June 30, director Dave Spurgin said there were “ups and downs on line items; nothing huge.”

Recreational activity involving bus trips to the cities were discussed. Spurgin noted the outing last week to the Twins-Yankees game was at capacity with a waiting list. “I’m told this is the only to go to a ball game,” member Bob Jensen said.

Two additional bus trips include a Vikings-Bears football game in November and the American Idol Tour. “The American Idol one is new and we’re going to give it a go,” Spurgin said. “We usually get quite a few of Bear fans interested in the football bus trip.” It was noted the football bus outing has involved the Vikings-Bears game the last two years also.

In checking the pool log statistics of current statistics with last year’s numbers, the board was seeing double.

Spurgin said the pool opened both years on June 17. A total of 101 passes were sold both years. Daily admittance is fairly close as well. Swimming lessons were given to 75 individuals both years.

Members Laurel Hash and Jensen commented they constantly hear from residents who hope the pool doesn’t close.

“Our biggest admittance day this year was 326 during that hot streak we had in June,” Spurgin said, noting this is not a hot weather season. Pool co-managers are Andy Spurgin and Mason Sander.

Discussion turned to the pool drains. Spurgin said the new approved grates were installed and there is a restricted water flow. He noted the grates have more surface area with smaller openings. Last year the flow was 1,200 gallons a minute compared to 1,050 gallons presently.

Pool painting is being considered for the fall schedule to avoid any holdup if spring is a wet season.

Without a doubt the budget will need to include a new roof for the pool facility. Next year marks its 25th year.

The board turned its attention to the election of officers. Current officers were re-elected to their positions, including: Wayne King, chairman; Gary Phillips, vice chairman; and Pat Hall, secretary.

Approval was given to the annual agreement with the Estherville Lincoln Central Community School District for the shared use of facilities. The matter will be forwarded to the school board for its approval.

“The school’s been a great partner and easy to work with,” Spurgin said.

The board discussed at length the proposed five-year plan in dealing with the Emerald Ash Borer and other problematic diseases affecting trees. Spurgin said the Emerald Ash Borer is in Iowa but not here yet. “We need to put a plan in place to address this.”

He is proposing the board develop a tree species inventory and a planting plan. “We need a longer range plan on how to deal with diseased trees.” As with most plans in this day and age, a lot will depend on available dollars.

Turning to the walking trail, the director said he is receiving a lot of positive comments from appreciate people who make it a daily habit of using the facility.

The hanging baskets garnered board praise. Jensen said there were some issues with the watering schedule and additives to boost blooming. He added the process has been altered and it is hoped the desired effects are within reach. “This is the first season and I’m very pleased.”

“Library Square looks so nice,” Hash added.

Jensen commented, “Driving through town recently, there were the new flags and new flag holders, the lit flag at the library and the hanging baskets. It was a beautiful sight.”