New law means lone filter will have to be replaced with two

    The Crookston Community Pool is closed for at least the next few days after a water filter that filters water for both the primary pool and the diving pool "kind of blew up" Thursday, Crookston School District Superintendent Chris Bates told the Times Friday.   

    It'll cost around $250,000 to replace it, he said. While one filter did the trick for many years, new regulations on the books require that the lone filter be replaced with two filters, one for each pool.   

    "That's an expensive fix," Bates said. “We knew it was old but were hoping to limp along with it for a few more years.”   

    He said Transportation and Buildings/Grounds Coordinator Rick Niemela alerted him Thursday to the problem. "Rick called and said it wasn't good," Bates said.   

    So where will the money come from? That's the $250,000 question, he said. The school board has been looking at ways to finance a new roof and boiler at the facility, and those priorities will likely have to be revisited, the superintendent said. There's also the approximately $150,000 in revenue that comes in each year for several more years, thanks to a voter-approved, pool-specific ballot question.   

    "That's the whole dilemma of owning the do we pay for something like this?" Bates said. "The filter's so old I don't think insurance is even an option."   

    While it was known that the filter was old, replacing it with two wasn't included in the pool renovation package because the roof, boiler and ventilation system were deemed to be more urgent needs. "The filter is now obviously a priority and some other things are probably going to have to wait," Bates said. "But how do you make that roof wait?"   

    More will be known on the specifics of the filter replacement on Monday, he said, adding that the pool will be closed until at least then.