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News from the week of August 1, 2001 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

EDA seeks more specifics about Tracy tele-work center proposal

The Tracy Economic Development Authority is taking a “wait and see” stance about the possible city investment in the development of a Tracy “tele-work center.”

Friday morning, EDA members deferred a decision on the tele-work center until more information can be gathered.

Dale Petelinsek, CEO of Everest Information Services of Bloomington, has proposed a five-step plan for establishing a tele-work center in Tracy. For an investment of $10,000 to $20,000, Petelinsek has offered to conduct an analysis of Tracy needs and develop a business plan. The business plan could be used in establishing a Tracy tele-work center.

“We would identify some potential clients,” Petelinsek said. “But what you do with the business plan is up to you.”

The business plan, he said, is no guarantee that a tele-work center will be attracted to Tracy. He compared the business plan and the initial city investment as “the 300th step in a 1,000 step journey.”

Lake residents weigh in on sewer system

Should project proceed without state grant?

Uncertain about prospects for state grant funding for a sewer collection system, the Shetek Area Water and Sewer Commission (SAWSC) is surveying lakes area property owners to determine if there's interest in moving forward with a sewer project without state grant money.

As of Tuesday, about 250 surveys had been returned. Property owners have until Friday, August 3, to return surveys, mailed to them in early July.

Costs for a sewer collection system and treatment system around the Lake Shetek and Lake Sarah areas, including a connection to Garvin, have been estimated at $11.8 million.

To pay for an $11.8 million system, it's estimated that property owners would need to pay a $6,450 assessment, plus pay a monthly sewer service fee of about $36.30. The cost estimates assume that the project qualifies for a $1 million federal Rural Development Grant.

The sewer collection system would have an estimated life of 40 years, compared with the 15 years typical for a septic treatment system.

Financing all costs through Rural Development is also a possibility.

One pool saga ends, another begins

Dreams for a new Tracy Aquatic Center are taking shape this week, even as a half-century of memories wash over the community's closed pool.

The pool, which opened on July 15, 1951, rippled over its last group of swimmers Sunday. The plug was pulled shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday, after the close of an afternoon swimming session.

“Everybody out!” lifeguard Jordan Roots ordered at the stroke of 5 p.m. With that, scores of dripping swimmers clambered onto the pool deck. Parents packed up little ones. Sun revelers picked up books and towels. A five-decade long summer tradition had ended in Tracy.

The pool closed a month early to make way for construction on a new $1.5 million family aquatic center complex, targeted to open in May of 2002. On July 9, Tracy City Council members awarded $1.3 million worth of construction contracts for the new pool. Pool equipment, such as water slides, furniture and water toys, still must be purchased.

By late Tuesday afternoon, water from the 250,000 gallon main pool was still draining through a three-inch outlet pipe. City workers had finished salvaging wood decking from the pool's west side.

Salonek Concrete and Construction of Springfield is expected to begin demolition work on the pool structure, after water heaters and water treatment equipment is removed. The equipment will be used in the new pool.

Harry Truman was in the White House when the pool opened in 1951. According to a Headlight-Herald article, 12-year-old Bob Burns was the first person to dive into the pool. One year earlier, City of Tracy voters approved, by a 291 to 59 margin, borrowing $35,000 to build the pool.

New equipment provides lift to Tracy playgrounds

Major upgrades are underway for City of Tracy park playground equipment.

New equipment already installed this summer includes a swing at Legion Park, a merry-go-round at Central Park, teeter-totters at Central and Greenwood parks, and a new slide at Greenwood Park. Other playground pieces have been repaired and painted by city employees.

More upgrades are planned this summer.

A soccer field is mapped for Sebastian Park, and new basketball hoops and standards are envisioned at Central Park.

The improvements are badly needed, says City Administrator Audrey Koopman. In some cases, she says, old city park equipment represented potential safety hazards.

Additional park upgrades are future possibilities. A city park committee has discussed installing new, multi-station play centers at both Central Park and Sebastian Park as early as next summer. Estimated cost for each center is $25,000. The park committee has also discussed the possibility of keeping Central Park's main play center where it is, and instead making necessary improvements and additions.

Guardsmen recall Army activation 50 years ago

It was the best of times and the worst of times.

Former National Guard members of the 204th Clearing Company, 47th Viking division, shared memories of their activation 50 years ago at the height of the Korean War.

Forty-six former guardsmen attended a Saturday night banquet at the Mediterranean Club. Another comrade joined them for a Sunday picnic. Many of the old soldiers were accompanied by family members. One brought grandchildren.

On January 23, 1951, 93 Tracy area National guardsmen boarded a frigid train in Tracy, bound for Fort Rucker, Alabama. Two of Tracy's four doctors--Major Robert Remsberg and Captain Lyle M. Benson--were amond those activated. The temperature was minus 23 degrees as young wives, girl friends, mothers, dads and firends waved good-bye. Because the passenger cars were frozen up, after being inexplicably disconnected from their steam locomotive, the men endured a trip without heat until they reached Louisville, Kentucky.

Of the 93 guardsmen who left Tracy, 32 are deceased. Special tribute was given to these men at the program.

Nearly 300 attend flower show

Elaine Fischer is grand champion exhibitor

"For the Love of Flowers . . . I'd" was the theme for the United Methodist Church Women's annual flower show last week.

About 285 people attended the flower show this year. Thirty-eight exhibitors entered 147 items.

The flower show is intended to be the church's gift to the community, said organizer Jackie Deal. The flower show was started 62 years ago, when a pastor saw it as a need to beautify the community by encouraging the raising of flowers.

"We felt it was a successful day," said Deal.