ROCHELLE — The Flagg-Rochelle Community Park District board unanimously approved two expenditures for Spring Lake Pool at its Monday meeting.
The first expenditure was replacement pumps and a control panel for Spring Lake’s lift station, which is the original from 1980. This year, staff had issues with the lift station being able to keep up while trying to backwash. The control panel will be moved outside next to the lift station where it can be seen better. The board accepted a bid from Anderson Plumbing for the work in the amount of $21,641. The project will be done in the spring.
The board also approved $17,750 to Nova Painting & Decorating for resurfacing of the water slide. As part of the bid, work will also be done on the rock climbing wall at the pool.
Superintendent of Parks and Facilities Austin Stolte said that the pool’s heater will need to be replaced due to a small fire that happened towards the end of the season. The park district is looking at replacing it with 2-3 smaller heaters so it wouldn’t be without a heater completely during future issues.
Stolte also said the park district recently received information on how to properly winterize the new splash pad and will be looking at a water softener and filter to protect the concrete on the splash pad from the effects of iron in the city’s water.
Executive Director Jackee Ohlinger said Spring Lake overperformed this year financially and attributed that to the hot summer.
“Overall, we're looking at a $30,000 loss,” Ohlinger said. “We've always known it's not a moneymaker for us, but it is a huge benefit to the community and we budgeted for a $70,000 loss, which is usually about where we see it. I'm very happy with where we are at that facility.”
Ohlinger also said the use of the Spring Lake Marina and park shelters were up from last year by 53 percent, which she attributed to people wanting to gather outdoors due to the pandemic.
The board voted unanimously to change its rules at Lake Sule to no longer read that only motors under 10 horsepower are allowed. Now, the ordinance simply reads that it’s a no wake zone. The move was made because not many motors under 10 horsepower are made anymore and no wake reduces shoreline wave action. Lake Sule is around 60 acres.
Ohlinger said the recent Grand Celebration at The REC was a positive experience for the park district and it plans to do other events like that in the future.
The park district is also working to finalize an agreement with the Comfort Inn hotel for its guests to use the facility. The closure of Hickory Grove next door to the facility left the hotel without a pool on site.
Recreation Supervisor Scott Stevens talked during his report about the park district taking on the Rochelle Youth Basketball Association this fall and winter. Girls will start in October and boys will start in January. The league will be renamed The REC Basketball League.
“We want to make it our own and carry the same traditions,” Stevens said. “ I see it being a very productive thing and people being happy with it. It's a good thing we're able to bring that into The REC this year.”
Stolte said the park district is looking at replacing the roof on the locker rooms and bathroom at Helms Field. He said it’s in “dire need” of repair and is leaking. Rochelle Junior Tackle uses those buildings for storage.
Ohlinger said the cost of the project has been quoted in the past at $50,000 and would likely be higher now. The track at Helms Field is also on the park district’s capital projects list.