Brekken was doing an excellent job as manager, they say, but he’s on military deployment until the spring of 2018

    Count Crookston resident Pat Thomas, a frequent user of the Crookston Community Swimming Pool, as someone who thinks the facility and the community as a whole would be better off if the pool were owned and operated by the City of Crookston and not the Crookston School District.

    Thomas spoke to members of the Crookston City Council and Mayor Wayne Melbye at their Ways & Means Committee meeting Monday evening. She was joined by Pearl Maygra, who works at the pool.

    Everything at the pool was on the upswing when Cody Brekken was managing the facility, both agreed. But the National Guard member is currently deployed on a mission in Washington, D.C. and won’t return until next spring. In the meantime, the person that Brekken helped line up to oversee the pool during his absence has taken on one or maybe two other jobs, Thomas said, and the pool has suffered as a result. The schedule is frequently changed without notice, Thomas and Maygra said, and if instructors can’t be found for various activities, “The doors are just locked,” Maygra added.

    Although Thomas said she’s spoken to Crookston School District Superintendent Chris Bates about her concerns, when asked if the school board has heard them, Thomas said she hasn’t spoken to them yet, but she might very soon.

    School district voters a few years ago approved a 10-year referendum that targets funds directly at pool repairs and improvements. As a result, Thomas said, the facility is in excellent shape. “I think things can be worked out, it just needs to be run better,” she said.

    A Swimming Pool Advisory Committee comprised of school district and city representatives as well as pool proponents does in fact exist, mostly because the City commits approximately $67,000 a year to help the facility cover its operating deficit. It was suggested Monday that the committee meet soon to continue the discussion on the current situation at the pool, and maybe some bigger picture items for the future.

    Pool proponent Colleen MacRae said she’s made numerous requests for the advisory committee to meet. She’s hoping the latest concerns will spark a “very informed” discussion among city, school district and community members on the pool and it’s future. “There are lots of options available, but I would hate to think about the school turning over something to the city without fully understanding the implications for students in the schools,” MacRae said.

    City Administrator Shannon Stassen said he’s spoken to Bates about the latest concerns.