– Rolling Hills Transit article

Published On: September 2nd, 2014|Categories: Semcac in the Media|

Byron Ponders Community Recreation Center

BYRON — Teaming up with the school district, the city of Byron is surveying local residents about building a community/recreation center with an indoor pool near the location of the existing pool.

The old pool could be repaired while plans for the recreation center are firmed up and financed — a process that could take at least three years, council member Matt Brekke said during Tuesday’s city council meeting.

Council members said they would decide during their Sept. 23 council meeting whether to repair the old pool or demolish it. Enough surveys should be back before that to give the council a clear direction from residents.

The surveys should be available soon.

If the pool is not repaired, would-be-swimmers could take the bus to Kasson, Dodge Center or Stewartville, suggested council member Bret Baumbach.

Council members approved a contract with Semcac to pay about $30,000 of the 2015 expenses for a regional bus service beginning in January. State and federal dollars would pay for part of the expenses associated with the service.

The bus service, run by Rolling Hills Transit,would be open to the public but would be particularly valuable to children needing transportation to and from daycare and seniors needing rides to shop or to doctor appointments, said spokesman Mike Rizzo.

During a recent Economic Development Authority meeting, members discussed whether the bus service took business away from local retailers by providing a so-called “Wal-Mart Bus.”

But City Administrator Mary Blair-Hoeft said that the group ultimately decided the bus service could help local retailers.

In other business, council members approved a feasibility study to build streets with water and sewer mains to connect the location of the new senior housing complex north of Ace Hardware to current roadways and mains.

Assessments of nearby property owners could theoretically pay for all the work. However, one of the abutting property owners is a consortium of banks that took over the vacant land after the Farr Development collapsed. That group might not agree with the assessment strategy, Hoeft said. Hoeft and Angerman have been discussing the assessment plan with representatives from the banks.

Council members also agreed to pay $238,000 to purchase part of the old Olmsted County Lumber Mart building complex downtown from the Lumber Yard Partnership LLC. The public works department will use the property, which is east of the public works garage off County Road 5 near the railroad tracks.

The council will meet again at 6 p.m. Sept. 9 at City Hall.

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