Park Board: Accident at pool leaves question on high dive, outdoor rinks survey coming

Jess Bengtson
Crookston Times

    After an August accident at the Crookston Community Pool involving a six-year-old on the high dive, Parks & Recreation is considering a change in addition to safety measures taken. Parks & Rec director Jake Solberg told the Park Board this week that they’ve added plexiglas for safety, but there’s talk of pulling the high dive out and putting in a feature such as a water slide. The plan is for the low diving board to remain.

    Solberg said he’s aware there will be some “back and forth” about the high dive, but felt it was a big liability and understands it’s not being used by the high school any longer. Park Board member Bridget Burzette-Deleon asked where the accident happened and was told by City Administrator Amy Finch that it occurred through the railing, and that’s where the plexiglas is now.

    “It does not eliminate any opportunity for an accident to happen there, but to make sure once it’s up to mitigate safety measures,” Finch added.

    Park Board chair Mike LaFrance made the comment that age six may be “pretty young” to be on the high dive and Solberg commented that they could set an age limit with Finch adding that access could be sorted out, but for the board to “stay tuned” for more information coming forward.

OUTDOOR RINK SURVEY

    Parks & Rec is planning to release a community survey on outdoor ice rinks to see where else they could add one or more this year and in the future. Current new locations being considered include Schuster Park, Hoven Lane, and Carman Park as the only option on the city’s south end. When asked about continuing an outdoor rink at Alexander Park Solberg said it will be an option on the survey, but it is not a definite location.

    “The survey is to get the community involved and for the Parks & Rec department to get an understanding on where they want them,” Solberg explained. “If it’s a thing that’s progressing every year we may need to find some boards for the future.”

    Solberg said the survey could go out this week and he hopes to have Parks & Rec employees place the rink boards in their chosen locations before it gets too cold out. The survey will be advertised on the city’s website, city Facebook page and with local media.

    Currently the city has enough rink boards for two outdoor rinks, but could have a “pushed up snow” outdoor rink with no boards just to skate with no pucks or sticks allowed. There’s also a possibility to include a funding request in the 2023 Parks & Rec budget for additional boards should they find the community’s use is warranted.

City of Crookston