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News from the week of October 4, 2000 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

New aquatic center design has sharply lower costs

• $1.4 million plan would replace 49-year-old pool

A new Tracy swimming pool design unveiled Monday has sharply lower costs compared with proposals given to the city three years ago.

Engineers for USAquatics estimate that a “family aquatic center” can be built to replace the 49-year-old Sebastian Park pool for about $1.4 million. In 1997, costs for a comparable aquatic center designed by a different firm were estimated at $2.3 million.

The USAquatics proposal is a multi-pool design that includes two flume slides, a small children's slide, a drop slide, diving board, water play features, and concessions area. There are four distinct pool areas: a plunge pool, a 6-lane, 25-meter lap pool, 10-foot deep diving well, and a beach-like “zero depth entry” splash pool. The pools are ringed with tables and large umbrellas to provide shade.

Located on the existing Sebastian Park pool site, the proposed aquatic center would utilize the existing bathhouse. Sand volleyball courts on the west, a new concession stand, and a sandlot play area would also be enclosed in the pool facility.

Prairie View, Sioux Valley study joint assisted-living development

• Single campus concept studied

Prairie View Healthcare Center and the Sioux Valley Health Network are studying the possibility of integrating the nursing home into a “single campus” with the Tracy hospital, clinic and O'Brien Court.

Last week, Sioux Valley and Prairie View jointly hired a Minneapolis architect to develop a “master site plan” for the facilities.

The joint-planning effort was sparked by Prairie View's announcement this spring of plans to build a 20 to 30-unit assisted living complex onto the south side of the nursing home. Hopes were to begin construction in July.

Tim Byrne, Prairie View administrator; and Dan Reiner, Tracy Area Medical Service (TAMS) administrator, report that discussions are underway to determine the feasibility of a cooperative assisted-living project.

2 sisters who married 2 brothers celebrate 60th wedding anniversary

Virginia (Mrs. Heye) Lamfers remembers that October day in 1940 so well.

"Oh, it was just a beautiful day!" Lamfers recalls when asked about her wedding day.

Sixty years ago, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Tracy, two sisters married two brothers in a double ceremony.

"My sister, Celestine, or Cele, as we call her, married Paul and I married Heye Lamfers. It was a gorgeous day and a beautiful ceremony. Sixty years ago, it was too expensive to buy flowers, so we gathered pretty mums and other perennials from a neighbor's garden and took them to the florist. The florist made our bouquets from the garden flowers and there were even enough left over to decorate the church alter."

New school TV programs set to air beginning in November

Get ready for lots of excitement this school year with the addition of new equipment at the Media Center at Tracy Area High School.

Beginning in November, the students in Mr. Steve Jones Media class will be producing a daily, noon news show, consisting of one 15 minute segment per day.

“The class is really ready for this, and they put a lot of effort into everything they do.” said Mr. Jones. I asked Mr. Jones if any of the students, the seniors, were preparing for a college career in the Media Arts, and he told me, “Go ahead and ask them! They're here and all ready for your questions!”

And so they were. And, boy, I tell you, what a great bunch of young people. I was never so fortunate in high school to have had the opportunity to work with comupters,television cameras and other sources of technology of the like, because when I graduated in 1981, computer education was just beginning to trickle into the school districts for what would be the biggest advancement in school technology to date.

Blacktopping is sight for sore eyes after four month long project

Tracy residents were relieved last week as the last phase of the sewer separation project was completed.

Street work began in June as the $1.7 million project got underway. Streets were paved last week, almost four months after work began.

Tracy Nursing Home administrator Tennes Eeg said the facility was shut off on three sides because of construction. With only the alley open for visitors to access the nursing home, it was sometimes difficult for them to find the main entrance.

"It was a difficult situation," Eeg said. "It was a struggle, but we made it through."

Hospital, clinic finances look much healthier compared to year ago

Tracy Area Medical Services continues to post solid financial numbers.

Combined hospital and clinic operations showed a $16,190 profit during August. The margin pushed TAMS's profit for the first four months of its 2000-01 fiscal year to $84,803.

The black-ink is a sharp contrast to a year ago, when TAMS showed a $72,000 operating loss over the same time period. Overall, TAMS's 1999-00 fiscal year that ended April 30 posted a $580,805 loss. (See related story).

The improved bottom line coincides with TAMS's designation as a “Critical Access Facility,” which began April 10. The Critical Access designation has boosted revenues by allowing TAMS to be reimbursed for its Medicare patients on an actual cost basis. Before the Critical Access Designation, TAMS wrote off portions of its Medicare and Medicaid billings because government payments were less than hospital billings and costs.