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A water park – really?

February 16, 2014

To the editor: My issue with a water park in New Ulm is the timing....

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Mar-04-14 1:52 PM

People will move to NU if there are decent jobs. Work on that.

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Feb-26-14 1:22 AM

I am honestly amazed that money will be wasted on such a project. New Ulm – wise up!! I am amazed at how people fail to see the forest through the trees. Hum, a waterpark?! Not good – sounds like a shameless attempt of trying to get to parents by appealing to the kids. Ohh, I’m sorry – What kids? Or is this water park meant to be a wading pool so the seniors don’t pass out from the summer heat and humidity. “If you build it, they will come.” Is that what this is? The waterpark of dreams? The seniors have their own senior citizens center – why not something the town REALLY, REALLY needs – like a youth center!?

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Feb-25-14 7:09 AM

I don't think anybody is calling this a "need". Of course it is a want. Is it so bad to have things that we want, so long as they get used and improve the quality of life in our community? I can think of many things in our fair city that are wants that I don't use, but since my tax dollars are finding them, I'm glad that they get good use. Baseball parks ate one of these things. I don't use them, but it makes me happy to drive by and see a group of people playing a softball game at 9:00 on a warm summer evening. At least these "wants" are being used, so my tax dollars are being used wisely.

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Feb-24-14 3:51 PM

Hutch is close to St. Cloud... New Ulm is closer to Mankato.. The story of 2 similar towns.. 1 has families moving to it, the other is New Ulm. Hutch has more to offer to your families. The Vo-Tech isn't it. Its the youth programs, sports, extra things they have to offer. The summer youth programs, the closeness of the community. New Ulm has many of these, but not all. The youth programs are lacking, not because of the people trying to run them, but by the community not backing them. By the community whining about progress instead of moving with progress. Want New Ulm to be awesome? Better than Hutch, or wherever? Bring youth to town. Welcome young families. Progress... or be forgotten

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Feb-24-14 1:59 PM

Hutch lost one of their biggest employers-/Hutchinson Technologies. They kept their headquarters in Hutch but moved the factory to Wisconsin. They are also close to St Cloud which has everything. Hutchinson Main Street has changed a lot. Lots of offices but still some good stores. 3M is one of their largest employer. It also has a vo-tech school which is attractive for any community. They do not have a 4 lane hwy 15 either. What is or makes the difference?

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Feb-24-14 11:44 AM

Why are people comparing New Ulm with St. Peter? If you want to compare New Ulm with a rural farming town similar in size a better comparison is Hutchinson! Hutch is a town stuck in their ways, heck what other community can run Cub Foods out of town? Similar industries, similar population, Yet Hutchinson is progressing more than New Ulm. Why? Because they are not comparing themselves with St. Peter! Hutchinson is thinking for the future much more than New Ulm is. Don't get me wrong, it's great to stay in touch with the history. But the past is just that, PAST. We learn from it, study it, remember it. Don't dwell on it. Move forward. The older generations that remember the "good Ole days" are shrinking. If New Ulm wants to be more than a chuckle on the "Finding MN" series, it needs to progress towards a future. People are arguing about a water park? Really? If you want young, involved, energetic families to move to New Ulm, you have to have things families of today

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Feb-24-14 10:45 AM

Simple question: Is a water park a "need" or a "want" ? I sent my kids to NUACS and I've supported every levy referendum because I have something many of you lack - perspective. We've lived in other states & cities and understand first hand the value and importance of education for "all" children. I personally don't see a water park as something that adds to the "valuable education" of our youth. I see it as more a want than a need. You all may disagree with me and that's your prerogative. I just have a different set of priorities I guess. I've seen what other kids in other parts of the world don't have and see what our children are blessed with already here and to me a water park in New Ulm is an entitlement especially when you consider there are several nearby.

I want to see New Ulm grow and succeed. I believe a more progressive approach is needed to achieve this success. A water park doesn't meet the definition of progressive

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Feb-23-14 11:32 PM

I don't plan on using the city cemetery. Let's quit funding that.

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Feb-23-14 5:47 PM

I am finding it funny about these people who say they shouldn't have to pay with their taxes things they will never that not what most of our taxes are used for, things we don't use or get to pick what they are used for? I am sure my taxes where used for that glorious water fountain park that replaced the outdoor pool and guess what, I have never stepped foot in it. maybe they should take the portion of my taxes that paid for that and put it towards an outdoor water park that my kids could use. And as for the school referendums, I voted yes for those every time even before I had kids and I knew my taxes were being used for something I was not using and I own 3 houses, and yes everyone had the taxes go up and I gladly paid them because we need to support our children. I like how the people in this town complain when the kids get in trouble, well they have nothing else to do so they resort to this for fun since they cant go to the many bars or beer related festivals.

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Feb-21-14 2:44 PM

St Peter is no comparison to Mankato. St Peter is probably growing BECAUSE of their proximity to The great city of Mankato as is Nicollet. Mankato is a thriving community with businesses and more to come. St. Peter has no shopping AT ALL. I actually dislike St Peter and just happy to drive right through it without stopping for anything.

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Feb-20-14 7:13 PM

Saint Peter and Mankato are both progressive communities. Cities that are overly conservative have a hard time growing.

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Feb-20-14 5:23 PM

Deerhunt: You make the comment that you "don't live here so what do you know or care". Yet you continue to post away on this subject matter.

JReader: Building a water park is entitlement? Really? However I agree with your views that festivals will only go so far to draw people here.

My wife and I are not natives and have two children under the age of 4. We reside in New Ulm and think its a very nice community. Our children will be attending NUACS in the upcoming years, but we fully 100% support the Public school system and will certainly will be voting in support of a new school. The public school is the foundation/rock of this community. We also hope the members serving our city council find a way to make a water park a reality.

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Feb-20-14 3:30 PM

Springfield and Sleepy Eye both have outdoor waterparks - population declining in both. New Ulm's current population -declining, your right this would be a good fit. Nicollet , St. Peter and Courtland - no water park ,population increasing in all three. I know for a fact there are a lot of people that have moved to these smaller towns because it is cheaper living. ( I shouldn't call St.Peter a smaller town , they are on course to eclipse your population in 20 years.) Why did they remove the outdoor pool , maintenance nightmare. Even when buying a home a pool is considered at zero value due to the maintenance costs, especially outdoor pools (we do live in Minnesota). Build , build ,build. Tax , tax, tax. Your town is becoming nothing but a tourist town , your population growth proves it. If interested ,north of the actual booming town of Baxter ,Mn. there is an outdoor waterpark for sale ,hasn't been used in a couple of years and not.Put up an outdoor drive in theater next to it.

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Feb-20-14 12:28 PM

JReader-O, you are one of those. Your kids are grown and gone, so your taxes going up to build a new school or waterpark for this "entitlement" generation is not right. My kids are also grown and gone, and a new school and waterpark will not benefit me at all. But I will still support it for today's youth. Someone paid for the schools I attended K-12 and someone paid for the outdoor pool where German Park now sits that I would spend countless summer afternoons with my parents and friends. I do somewhat understand your entitlement views, but using the word in the same sentence as a new school building or waterpark is not my definition.

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Feb-20-14 10:23 AM


I consider something that is built for the benefit of one group and paid by another based on their demands to qualify as an entitlement. You may think differently.

Too many people today think they are owed something without making any personal investment or stake into it. It's very easy to spend someone else's money. When it's your own money on the line and at risk your approach is quite different. If kids really believe that they can't do without a water park then they and their parents should get the ball rolling by raising their own funds for it. The Park & Rec department gladly takes donations - I know first hand because I've been involved with raising money to give them for youth activities.

My kids grew up in New Ulm and I can say they have not been permanently scarred due to the lack of a water park in New Ulm. We just hopped in the car and went to Springfield, Fairmont, and sometimes to the Twin Cities.

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Feb-20-14 4:51 AM

I see many valid points and concerns here but I still have to put in my two cents. First off, has anyone noticed how banged up the South end of Broadway is? There are potholes galore. Secondly, if the idea behind the water park is to bring both entertainment and money to the community, wouldn't it make more sense to invest in something that can be used year round? We do have a public swimming pool already. We have had an outdoor municipal pool in the past. Maybe an internet/gaming cafe would be more beneficial?

As far as artists go, we don't all leave the area. Brushing the new arts building off is a slap in the face to any local artist. Slamming businesses is quite pointless as well. Regardless of the size, they do employ people and there are not dozens of jobs just leaping out.

And if we're going to complain about the government, we need to be active in changing it. "We the People" rings a bell. Well...we are THE people!

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Feb-20-14 1:51 AM

I doubt that using the 1/2% sales tax to attract another "Kraft" or other small businesses would ever pass the legislature, anyway. To my knowledge, no community has ever used it for such a purpose. Why should tax dollars be given to corporations to lure them in? It is bad enough that southern states hand over billions of dollars to foreign automobile companies.

A water park, preferably an indoor/outdoor one would be heavily used. Every indoor or outdoor water park our family has visited has always been packed.

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Feb-19-14 5:49 PM

Having a facility in which kids can swim is entitlement? How dare you kids in New Ulm have a water park!

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Feb-19-14 5:25 PM

So Jessica, the only way to show that we care about our kids is to spend more money on them ? No wonder we live in the entitlement generation.

The civic center was built as well as the senior center because the city was able to get a local sales tax passed through the legislature. So just how does the senior center play into the civic center getting built in your mind ?

District 88 pays a hefty tab to the city to rent the civic center so kids can play hockey. Those lease payments are directly taxed to the property owners of the district. So, every property owner helps support our high school athletes who choose to play hockey. I consider that being supportive. And, every time I purchase goods in New Ulm I'm helping to pay off the bonds used to finance the civic center.

I'm sure if it is decided that New Ulm just can't live without a water park they will work to get the local sales tax extended.

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Feb-19-14 3:11 PM

Are we building a new Kraft or a waterpark? Where did the money come from for a Putting green (which is a joke to most) and the great Grand Hotel now featuring art for future artist. Like they stay in New Ulm.Just more money in someone's pocket for all that.

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Feb-19-14 2:22 PM

JReader-Are you kidding me? Park & Rec. gets the ax more then any city dept. year after year. A majority of school levies have failed and when they do pass its by the slightest margin. We will see what materializes with this water park and possible ISD 88 building referendum. The Civic Center would have never been built if they didn't tie in the Senior Center with it.

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Feb-19-14 1:18 PM

How much money per capita did St. Peter get vs. Anoka and Siren ? And, what were the overall economic conditions that prevailed during each of these periods. I'm in no way criticizing St. Peter for what they have done. They have done a marvelous job in coming back and being stronger today.

Your opinion is that people in New Ulm don't care about our youth as much as the people of St. Peter. I completely disagree with that notion. I think the people here in New Ulm care just as deeply about their children as the people in St. Peter do. There is nothing you have stated that demonstrates anything to the contrary. The tornado lead St. Peter on a pathway to great success and that success was also achieved by good planning. It has nothing to do with one group having greater dedication to their children than any other group including us parents in New Ulm.

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Feb-19-14 12:24 PM

MCW , show me one post where I believe that the guy on top should get all the money ,loopholes, etc. Read your first paragraph about all the good that Kraft has brought to town. My point is you are better off taking a million dollars and luring the next Kraft or a group of small Kraft's to town instead of building a waterpark. Your population has not grown over the past 50 years ,Kraft is in an outdated building and your community is doing nothing to retain them or replace them with a bunch of smaller business's. Your population growth speaks volumes about how pro business your town is. We are not situated on a major road as St.Peter and Mankato, we are at the end of the line going west, even with a four lane we are the last stop . Communities in that situation need to be proactive in offering incentives to draw big and small business. It has become a tourist town over the past 50 years ,not an industrial hub. Maybe your waterpark is a better fit for your overall plan.

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Feb-19-14 11:46 AM

I am very much pro business. The difference between you and I is that you think that the guy at the top should get all the money and tax breaks and loopholes and I disagree with that. It is the employees that make companies profitable. Companies, such as Kraft, that have a history of rewarding good employees with good pay and good benefits have a good place in our economy. They also have loyal employees that work hard for their employer.

Back to the issue at hand, if a city has nothing to attract families, good companies will have a more difficult time attracting good employees.

Kraft and 3M won't be paying much for a water park funded by the expiring half percent sales tax.

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Feb-19-14 10:37 AM

MCW , read your posts vs mine , who is more pro business? That was sarcasm because everyone seems to put the corporate business's down as being greedy , even though they own stock in these companies through their retirement plans.By all means , build your waterpark, I'm sure Kraft will stay because of that.

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