Swim lessons, boat rentals at city beach discussed

By Barbie Porter


The Vergas Park Board hosted an Earth Day event at the city park this past weekend. 

The event included wrangling volunteers to tend to the park by clearing away brush and cleaning the area. The youngsters were entertained by the East Otter Tail County Soil and Water District employees, who provided informational lessons on water.

During the Vergas City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 13, the park board noted discussion was had about if swimming lessons would be offered at the city beach this year.

Concerns were addressed over the fee charged by the instructor ($35) and for the  assistant ($15), in addition to the $300 fee from the Red Cross (which has been paid by the Vergas Lions for several years). The kids joining the lessons pay $40 per child, which puts the city at a loss. 

Options were to hire an independent contractor, but concerns over proper insurance coverage were had. The park board agreed to review the recently received proposal from the longtime swim instructor, and discuss it further.

The board also mentioned there was interest in allowing a rental business at the city beach. The rentals could potentially include non-motorized water crafts and motorized boats. 

The council seemed to agree, if that were to be offered a process would need to be put in place where all interested parties could bid to offer the service for one season, and the council would accept the highest bid.

In other news

• The council approved necessary street closures to host the parade, street fair and street dance during the annual city-wide celebration, Looney Daze.

•  Approved several construction permits filed with the city office.

• Approved a year-long contract with KLJ to be the engineer firm for the city.

• Approved a permit to Mark Sand & Gravel to commence operations at its gravel pit in city limits. 

The bond amount of $50,000 was discussed. It was noted during the next schedule fee change date, in January 2022, the amount should be increased to $100,000. Vergas City Clerk Julie Lammers explained if the council increased the amount now the city would incur legal fees, as proper notification of the fee changes would be required by state statute.

• Approved continuing a program to waive construction permit fees for commercial  buildings and expansion projects.

• Agreed to change the exercise class fee for the Vergas Event Center from $20 to $10.