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Breckenridge may build $1.4 million aquatic park

Civic leaders in Breckenridge, Minn., could OK a $1.4 million outdoor aquatic park Nov.

Civic leaders in Breckenridge, Minn., could OK a $1.4 million outdoor aquatic park Nov. 18.

Park supporters have proposed construction of a new 125,500-gallon pool south of Breckenridge High School.

The park would feature lap and plunge pools, a splash area, concession stands and sandlot on the site of the existing municipal pool.

"We've been trying to build a new pool since 1995," said Mike Montgomery, the city's recreation director.

"This is something that obviously needed to be done," he said Monday.


Breckenridge's current pool dates back almost 40 years.

The city spent $12,000 last year alone to replace broken pipes, Montgomery said.

The proposed water park would eliminate the need for costly repairs, he said.

In addition, the 5,324-square-foot pool would be more accessible for people compared to the current facility, Montgomery said.

The aquatic park would include a sandlot for tots, areas for sunbathers and picnickers and sufficient space for swimmers of all ages, he said.

City officials held a public forum Monday night to get feedback on the water park.

The City Council will review the proposed facility at its Nov. 4 meeting and could approve its construction Nov. 18, said Blaine Hill, city clerk.

"Support for this project is pretty strong," Hill said. "It's been a long time coming."


If the council supports the project, the city will sell $1 million in bonds and raise $400,000 through in-kind donations and fund-raisers.

If approved, the pool would raise property taxes on a $100,000 home by $105 per year for 15 years, Hill said.

While Hill and Montgomery say there's been little opposition to the project, critics will have a chance to be heard.

Residents who object to the park will have 15 days to call for a referendum if and when the City Council gives a green light to the project.

At least 15 percent of voters in the Nov. 5 general election must sign a petition asking for the referendum, Hill said.

He doubts there will be any formal opposition to the park.

"I haven't run into many people around town who aren't supportive," Hill said.

Barring any delays, construction on the new water park could begin next August with its opening set for June 2004, Montgomery said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Cole Short at (701) 241-5557

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