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News from the week of December 1, 2004

Pool repairs still uncertain
$700,000 liner emerges as leading option

How and when the Tracy Aquatic Center will be put back in operation remains uncertain. But two likely scenarios emerged from an engineering report presented to city leaders Monday.
o Aquatic Center repairs will probably be more expensive than what was estimated earlier this fall.
o Pool renovations will likely be completed later than originally hoped.
The report—compiled by the Twin Cities engineering firm of Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates—listed seven renovation options, with estimated costs ranging from $560,000 to $1,100,000. Consulting engineer Brian Pashina recommended that three of the options— with estimated price tags of $700,000 to $870,000—be considered.
July 1, 2005, is the projected completion time for two of the options. The third course of action could probably no be finished until November of next year.
Two months ago, city leaders had hoped that aquatic center renovations would be well underway by now. Engineers had prepared repair specifications, construction bids were being sought, and the Tracy City Council hoped to award bids on Oct. 11. Estimated repair costs were $490,000, and it was recommended that the city set aside an additional 30% contingency fund.
May of 2005 was the projected completion date. But an eleventh-hour snafu developed when a manufacturer withdrew an earlier pledge to give a warranty on the materials used for the pool's new finish coat. Without a warranty, the Oct. 11 bid-letting was abandoned and engineers were forced to investigate other methods of repairing the pool.

Greg Tanghe makes writing debut with 'Pearls'

Is the glass half empty or half full?
Maybe neither, if you look at life the way Greg Tanghe does. The rural Amiret man feels as if his cup is overflowing with blessings.
"I believe that life is what you make of it. I choose to focus on the positive," the Lyon County farmer said, as he explained why, at mid-life, he decided to write a book.
Tanghe's new book: Pearls: Philosophies for Living a Robust and Fulfilling Life, is a collection of thoughts about achieving inner peace and happiness. Published this fall, Tanghe is just now getting the book into small bookstores and gift shops.
Many people's initial reaction, Tanghe said, has been 'I didn't know you were a writer.'" The author smiles, because not long ago, he didn't realize he was one either.
"I had no idea that I was going to write a book," he explained. Pearls began as an effort to put into words 10 or 20 principles that he considered important in life. But the more he wrote, the more there was to say.
Finally, one day he told his wife, Darlys, "I think I am going to write a book."Two years of work resulted in a 193-page hardcover. Tanghe is pleased. "I feel very good about it. Until I tried it, I never knew that I could do it. It is more than I expected. We don't know what is in us until we try."


Digital imaging equipment okayed for hospital

New digital imaging equipment will soon be serving patients at Tracy Hospital and Medical Clinic.
Up to $180,000 to purchase and install the equipment was approved by the Tracy City Council Monday. The Tracy Area Medical Services (TAMS) advisory board recommended the equipment purchase at a Nov. 17 meeting.
"It's very high-tech, and it's very necessary," said Rick Nordahl, TAMS chief executive officer, in explaining the project to the council.
Besides producing high-quality images, the new equipment is designed to also send high-quality images on line. This capability will allow local physicians to send images to off-site specialists on-line.
Current methods of electronically transmitting images, said TAMS Chief of Staff Javed Fazel, are like "sending a poor quality fax." Dr. Fazel said that the new digital imaging equipment is far more important than any brick and mortar improvement that could be made to the hospital.


Garvin sewer completion
taking longer than expected

Construction continues on a $1.6 million sewer project in Garvin.
The project, which began this summer, involves building a three-cell pond system and lift station collection system for the city’s existing homes and businesses, said Mayor Jim Julien.
Julien said the city’s current collection system was at least 50 years old and used collection lines dug in by hand. Julien said there were many problems throughout the city with sewage backing up into basements.
Each home now utilizes a septic tank. Those septic tanks will be abandoned when the new system becomes operational.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is mandating the city-wide sewer system.
"They told us we had to get it fixed," he said.
Julien said the city had been on the state’s priority list for funding the project for years.
"It’s been a long time in the making," he said.


Tickets being sold for AFS Tour of Homes

Tickets have gone on sale for the Tracy AFS chapter's "holiday tour of homes."
Four homes will be on tour Sunday, Dec. 12, from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. The tour features the homes of Tim and Mary Byrne, Joe and Carol Cooreman, Tom and Joan Gervais, and Art and Karen Peterson.
Tickets are $6 a person and are on sale at Tracy Food Pride, Fond Memories, John's Drug, and Minnwest Bank South. All proceeds will go to the Tracy AFS foreign exchange student program.
A shuttle service is being offered between 1:30 and 3 p.m. Advance reservations can be made by calling 212-2018.


New mobile home park
owner plans improvements

An Eden Prairie man has assumed ownership of the Cedar Lane Mobile Home Park in Tracy.
Leo Yanchuk of Clearview Realty, Eden Prairie, purchased the park from M&O Partners of Milaca, which has owned the property for four years.Yanchuk, who is a partner in two other Minnesota mobile home parks, sees potential in the Tracy property."I would like to see it filled next year," he said.
The park is now operating at just over two-thirds capacity. Cedar Lane has space for 34 homes, but there are now only 20 occupied units in the park. There are also two unoccupied trailers in the park.
The new owner said that he intends to bring in new trailers to fill existing space. However, any new homes won't be brought until next spring, because the structures can't be properly tied down on frozen ground.
Besides filling up the park, Yanchuk said that he also wants to make improvements at the park.
"I want to make it nicer, more comfortable for the people." Upgrades to the park's streets are one improvement that will be considered, he said.
Yanchuk said that he is also considering the possibility of buying more property and expanding the park beyond its 34 pads.
Claire Hannasch, who owned the park for a year prior to selling to M&O, will continue to manage the park.