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City Council hopes to open swimming pool this week

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HARTINGTON — The Hartington City Council Monday gave the green light for the swimming pool to open this season.

Pool staff began cleaning the facility last week and filling the pool on Monday. Once it is filled, the chemistry and heater will need to be tested, and then the facility will be ready to go, said Councilman Chris Bartling, who oversees the pool. The staff and Park Board were expected to meet

The staff and Park Board were expected to meet Tuesday night to iron out the final details with the expectation the pool could be open and operating late this week.

Several COVID-19 restrictions will be in place, though. The pool will only be able to operate at a limited capacity, which means only 67 people will be allowed into the facility.

The facility will also be routinely sanitized and patrons won’t be allowed to congregate too closely outside of the pool.

City Attorney Steve Pier also said anyone using the pool will be required to have a parent or legal guardian sign a release form.

“All swimmers must sign a participant agreement noting that they are aware of the risk of catching COVID and in the event they get sick, they agree not to take action against the city,” he said. “The agreement essentially says they are risking exposure and they are aware of it,”

Once the pool is ready to open, an announcement will be made on the Cedar County News Facebook page and on

Council members also agreed Monday to sign an agreement with Groundwater Solutions Group and Christensen Well to try and rehabilitate the East Airport well, rather than replace it.

The project could cost as much as $30,000, which is only a fraction of the cost of putting in a new well. The city budgeted $300,000 last year to put in a new well. The East Airport Well needs to either be updated or

The East Airport Well needs to either be updated or replaced because it is no longer working at full capacity and starting to show increased levels of nitrates, said Councilman Cody Christensen.

“This is some new technology that would allow us to rehabilitate that well and save the city a lot of money,” he said.

The work would include some work on the pump, and putting a grout on the outside of the casing, which is something people didn’t do when this well was put in 50 years ago, Christensen said. “The whole thing would be under $30,000. If it

“The whole thing would be under $30,000. If it works, it would prove to us that we have a good water source as well as give us a well that is up to date,” Christensen said.

The Council also got some good news Monday in the form of a rebate check from the EMC Nebraska Municipality Safety Group Dividend Program. Local representative Peg Anderson of Anderson and Anderson Insurance presented the Council with a check for $27,042.

The Hartington Rural Fire Department also received a dividend check of $1,664 from EMC.

EMC Insurance companies have a dividend program for all the municipalities and fire districts under 15,000 in population in Nebraska with whom they work. In 2020, the company was able to pay an 18 percent dividend back to all qualifying policy holders. The company has paid out a dividend in 19 out of the past 26 years.

This year’s dividend check was the second largest in the history of the program.

The Council also agreed Monday to hire JEO Engineering at a cost of between $5,000 and $7,500 to help them through the process required to renew the permit at the transfer station. The permit needs to be renewed every 10 years.

The permit must be renewed by February 2021. The permitting process requires a three-ring binder worth of information that needs to be submitted to the state.