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Park Board says water slide is unlikely to ever be installed here

The water slide purchased for the swimming pool by the City of Kenmare remains in pieces in the Jaycees Park where it was unloaded nearly four years ago.

5/22/13 (Wed)

A good idea at the time . . . The used water slide purchased for
the Kenmare swimming pool in 2009 remains dismantled in the Jaycees
Park south of the pool.  Soil testing and other preparatory wrok have delayed
the installation for three years, and the project may have to be abandoned.

By Caroline Downs

The water slide purchased for the swimming pool by the City of Kenmare remains in pieces in the Jaycees Park where it was unloaded nearly four years ago.

“Yes, it is an eyesore,” said Kenmare Park Board president Arlen Gartner.

The city paid the Minot Air Force Base $250 after winning the bid for the slide in October 2009. The slide seemed like an ideal attraction for the local pool at the time, and the cost included the pump needed to draw water from the pool to operate the slide.

The slide was supposed to be installed on the west side of the Kenmare pool during the summer of 2010, when Gartner approached the city council about the project. However, city engineer Ryan Ackerman told the council soil testing would have to be done in order to build an adequate foundation and secure the structure.

The council approved up to $5000 to spend on soils investigation at the pool, but that work delayed the slide installation.

“When it was brought in, we weren’t aware we were going to have to go through all the testing of the soil samples,” Gartner said, “and we weren’t aware of the structural requirements. That took almost a year.”

According to Gartner, by the time the soil test results were available, the Park Board was facing the wet spring of 2011, and the super-saturated soils at the time prevented any construction from taking place.

“We had to make sure that when we put the pillars in for the slide, we wouldn’t crack the foundation of the pool,” said Gartner. “We still don’t know if the slide will fit in the area designated for it because we’ve never been able to get the measurements done for that.”

The delays and uncertainties have taken a toll. “You lose that enthusiasm for getting the slide up,” Gartner said. “It was a great project that we can’t fulfill.”

As the 2013 summer season approaches, Gartner doesn’t see any way to get the slide installed for public use. “Unless some individuals who are energetic and have the skills to do it come forward,” he added. “Otherwise, we should sell the slide and get rid of it.”

City swimming pool
will open soon
The pool itself will open for business as usual under the supervision of the Kenmare Recreation Board, according to Gartner. “It’s not a money maker, but it’s something the community needs, for the kids and for the adults,” he said. “You’re funding the pool, funding the lifeguards and constantly fixing things, but the manager and board have worked hard and kept costs down so the pool isn’t losing $20,000 to $30,000 a year anymore.”

Erika Lemere will take over as manager of the facility, replacing Karen Medlang who formerly served in that capacity.

Gartner noted repairs will be made to the bathhouse at the pool this summer, and the foundation on the west side of the facility will be reinforced with additional concrete.

The pool will offer daily swimming sessions and several rounds of lessons. The opening date, hours and lesson schedule will be announced and advertised in a later issue of The Kenmare News.