City pool slide mishaps prompt insurance claim

One person has filed a claim with the city's liability insurance following an incident on a slide at the new Mitchell Outdoor Aquatic Center, according to the city's human resources office.

One person has filed a claim with the city's liability insurance following an incident on a slide at the new Mitchell Outdoor Aquatic Center, according to the city's human resources office.

The slide was closed a week to 10 days ago following three "incidents" with adults, according to Randy Ahrendt, director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry. Ahrendt informed the City Council of the situation Monday evening during the public input portion of the council meeting.

Tuesday, Human Resources Director Teri Bertness said one of the incidents had resulted in a claim. She declined to elaborate, but said the city's insurance company will probably contact the manufacturer of the slide.

"We don't believe the city is liable," Bertness said. "The responsibility would fall back to them as the manufacturer."

The manufacturer, WhiteWater West Industries, is modifying the slide at no cost to the city, Ahrendt said. The company is extending two of the steel support beams by one foot and adding a new steel support beam, he said, apparently to reduce the angle of the slide's descent.


Ahrendt said the three incidents involved "bigger adults," but neither he nor Bertness gave specific details.

"They felt that as they got down to the last curve of the slide, that they were flipped over," Ahrendt said.

WhiteWater expects to have the problem fixed and the slide reopened by Aug. 4, Ahrendt said.

The aquatic center opened May 27. Ahrendt said average attendance at the facility during its first 48 days of operation was 730. Average daily attendance at the city's old pool, which was demolished to make way for the aquatic center, was 184 during its final summer two years ago.

The aquatic center news was one of many items addressed Monday evening at a busy City Council meeting. In other business, council members:

n Approved the application of Thomsen Enterprises LLC to transfer an on-sale liquor license to Mitchell Cuisine LLC, doing business as Ruby Tuesday.

n Conducted the second reading and adoption of a supplemental appropriations ordinance totaling $67,000, including $5,000 for carpet replacement in city offices, $8,500 for office furniture, $40,000 for an airport taxiways project, $4,000 for waste collection supplies and $9,500 to purchase a vehicle for the Corn Palace.

n Denied a change order of nearly $6,000, during the Public Properties Committee meeting, for the James Valley Community Center renovation project. A gas line was located in an unexpected spot, and the change order would have covered the cost to move the line. Instead, the money to pay for moving the line will have to come from funds already appropriated for the project.


n Approved, during the Public Works Committee meeting and later during the council meeting, a $9,200 contract for computer modeling and a $62,000 contract for the final design of a new earthen covering of the old landfill. The money will come from an existing $780,000 fund that was set aside for such projects.

n Approved the placement of a crosswalk, during the Traffic Commission meeting, at the intersection of Green Drive and Kimball Street to assist apartment residents crossing the street for a meal program.

n Heard an update, during the Public Works Committee meeting, on the $1.5 million pipeline being constructed to bring water to the new Prairie Ethanol plant near Loomis. About 2,500 feet has been installed, and a crew is moving at about 500 feet per day.

n Approved, sitting as the Board of Adjustment, a request from Marcia Solmonson for a conditional use permit to operate an in-home daycare at 1404½ Bridle Drive, and set Aug. 7 as the date for hearings on other variance and conditional use applications.

n Received reports from 11 city departments and committees.

n Tabled a resolution, over concerns about wording, that would raise cemetery fees.

n Set Aug. 7 as the date for hearings on applications by Wiebelhaus Companies Inc., doing business as J-Mart, and Teresa Quist, doing business as Café Teresa, for on-sale wine licenses.

n Approved an automatic supplement of $35,673, from state and federal grant funds, to the nutrition special revenue fund for a "Hot Shot" van purchase.


n Approved a request from the Police Division to apply for a grant from Wal-Mart in the amount of $1,000 for digital camera equipment.

n Approved four requests to conduct raffles.

n Approved pay estimates and bills.

n Approved a request, during the Traffic Commission meeting, to make the south half of the west alley in the 100 block of North Main two-way traffic and leave the north half of the alley one-way traffic going south; and approved requests to make street accommodations for the following events: Heart & Sole Cancer Walk, an Avera Queen of Peace community picnic and celebration, an Outkasts Car Club event, a semi-truck expected to park temporarily in front of The Pin Cushion, the Tour de Corn bicycle event, and the Corn Palace Festival.

n Approved, during the Public Health and Safety Committee meeting, a fireworks permit and the waiving of the permit fee for the Americanism Committee, which will conduct a patriotism program Sept. 10. The committee also approved a fireworks permit for the Jaycees.

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