City to decide where to put splashpad

NEW ULM — The final location of the donated splashpad will be determined, Tuesday.

A splashpad is an aquatic play feature with no standing water or depth. With no standing water, a lifeguard is not necessary. The splashpad is described as a playground with water features.

The New Ulm City Council authorized accepting a donated splashpad from Barbara Haroldson during the November 20, 2018, meeting, but no location has been chosen.

Staff originally recommended locating the splashpad at Harman Park due to its central location, restrooms, and rentable shelters. Haroldson also prefers Harman Park. The Park and Recreation Commission also recommended Harman Park.

However; the council tabled authorizing a location during the April 17 meeting. Prior to this meeting, the council received public feedback critical of Harman Park.

Members of the public felt traffic on Garden Street was too high and posed a safety risk for children. Limited parking was another concern.

German Park was suggested as an alternative. Staff was concerned a splashpad at German Park would conflict with concerts, other performing arts events, and weddings.

Staff also rejected Lincoln and Washington Parks because both already have wading pools.

Riverside Park and Nehls Park were rejected because neither park had restroom facilities.

The council agreed to table a decision on the splashpad’s location until the May 21 meeting. Staff was asked to bring back additional information, including cost estimates and specifications.

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A presentation on the downtown holiday garland display is planned. Currently, the city owns the components of the garlands, including the bell, star centers, and the guide wires. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) contributes $2,000 toward the purchase of fresh garlands each year. The Chamber of Commerce pays the remaining cost of the garlands. The Street Department installs and removes the garlands.

In 2016, the garlands led to a fire. This began a conversation about the safety of the decoration and who is liable in the event of an accident. In 2018, the building owners signed a one-year agreement allowing the city to hang garlands.

Ahead of the 2019 holiday season, the city needs to determine how to move forward with the garland tradition.

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The council will decide on a noise variance for New Ulm Area Catholic Schools (NUACS) following a public hearing. NUACS requested a permit for amplified music on 6th North Street between Washington and State Street for the school’s centennial celebration 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, September 21.

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Another public hearing is scheduled for the 2019 surface reconstruction project. The project includes surface reconstruction to 1st South Street, 5th South Street, 8th South Street and 9th South Street. A special $1,485 assessment per residential parcel benefiting from the project is recommended.

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The base bids for the Recreation Center boiler system replacement project will come before the council. Schwickert’s–Tectra America of Mankato has the lowest base bid at $550,890.

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