May 24—The Free Press
A majority of area respondents say the city of Mankato should consider expanding evening hours at the Tourtellotte Park pool as part of potential changes to the park, according to a Free Press online question.
Out of 161 total respondents, 133 voters — almost 83% — believe Mankato officials should take on the extra cost of expanding hours at the Tourtellotte Pool. Only 28 voters disagreed.
The Mankato City Council is gearing up to discuss some last-minute changes to the park before the city's municipal pool opens next month. While some support expanding evening hours, others think the pool should have free admission or potentially reduced fees.
The idea to drop the $2.50 entry fee would cost an estimated $16,000 in revenue. That's about half of the revenue the heavily subsidized pool brings in each year, the other half coming from fees paid by lap swimmers and pool rental by competitive youth swim teams.
Yet some council members said they hear many more complaints about the lack of evening hours — the pool is typically only open after 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday nights — than about the entry fee.
The Free Press online question, sent out Saturday, asked, "Should the city of Mankato expand evening hours at the Tourtellotte Park pool?"
There were two options to answer, "yes" or "no."
Commenters agreed the city should look into more evening hours and easing access to the pool.
"Evening hours would help kids get to the pool if their parents worked day hours," Martha Lindberg wrote. "I think that the kids who can't get to Tourtellotte until 6 p.m. would be thrilled with evening hours. Swimming is one of the best parts of summer."
Timothy Berg wrote, "With long summer evenings, why not provide a safe and inviting venue to our younger generation? I think it would be a very wise investment looking at the larger picture."
Harry Jenness wrote, "Not everyone can get to the pool during the day. It provides another venue of entertainment for the kids to enjoy during the summer evenings."