By Kendra Hennis
Though it may look a little different this summer, the Tuscola City Council approved the opening of the Tuscola swimming pool for the summer of 2021. With the thanks of Ms. Jean Holmes, the Tuscola swimming pool was able to find 21 applicants for the pool, most in the works of completing their certification. City Administrator Drew Hoel noted that they believe the staffing will be enough to open the pool, but may lead to reduced hours and days due to potential staffing issues. They do not currently have hours and days set, but hope to open sometime after Memorial Day. Hoel noted that there are ever-changing guidelines as to how the pool can operate during the pandemic, which could also lead to reduced hours and days, limited cash handling, and occupancy limits. The council is not considering family passes, but instead a daily entry card for residents to purchase at city hall, with deals for buying in large quantities. The details are still in the works and will be announced at upcoming council meetings.
The council additionally approved the 2021 summer hires including street & park department employee Brynn Tabeling; pool managers Taylor Harris and Jean Holmes; cashiers Nathalie Arroyo, Ella Boyer, Reanna Boyer, Ashley Buck, Emily Czerwonka, Makenna Fiscus, Victoria Ingram, Murielle Jones, Elizabeth Lee, Miranda Long, Kendyl Ring, Alana Simms, and Harley Woodard; certified guard Brady Urban; and soon-to-be certified guards Ben Hornaday, Nathan Bensyl, Zoe Clifton, Grace Dixon, Addi Fowler, Tristan Gadomski, Liam Hetland, Mason Holmes, Samantha Hunt, Emily Kemp, Allison Kneer, Emily Ray, Brogan Rennert, Katie Smith, Blake Taylor, Neil Walker, Logan Wallace, Skylar Wilkins, Alyssa Williams, and Lauren Woods.
The council also swore in Mayor Dan Kleiss for his ninth term; City Clerk Ann Leamon, and council members Terra Waldrop, Troy Rund, Mike Morris, Scott Day, Juanita Brace, Dave Slaughter, and Tim Hoey. Following, they approved the appointments of Drew Hoel as City Administrator, Craig Hastings as Police Chief, Mike Salmon as the Building and Electrical Inspector, Brian Moody as Fire Chief, Dennis Cruzan as City Services Foreman, Andrew Bequette of Beckett & Webber as City Attorney, and Alta Long as Treasurer for a term of May 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022. They additionally approved the Planning Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals/Sign Board of Appeals of Steve Hilgendorf, Gerald Reynolds, Terry Poindexter, Brett Adkisson, Randy Hastings, Alan Hettinger, and Brad Bennet; Liquor Board consisting of Mayor Kleiss as Commissioner, Curt McDaniel, and Bob Utterback; and Arcola/Tuscola Joint Waterline Board of Drew Hoel, Alan Shoemaker, and Troy Rund for a term of May 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022.
In his report, Mayor Kleiss noted that he attended the final ta-da at the Douglas County Museum over the weekend and really enjoyed himself. He said that Ainslie, Anna, and all other others did a fantastic job with the completion of the mural. Kleiss said that he hopes to see more projects completed in the town in the future.
The council also:
* Approved the minutes of the April 26, 2021 council meeting.
* Approved the financial report in the amount of $329,507.38.
* Approved the appointment of probationary firefighters Matthew Bright, Nicolas Cler, and Aaron Warren to the Tuscola Fire Department.
* Approved a resolution to waive the formal bidding for demolition of the Old Street Shed.
* Approved a contract with Block Field Tiling LLC for the demolition of the Old Street Shed in the amount of $11,000.
* Approved a contract with Morrow Brothers Ford for a 2020 Ford Police Interceptor Utility AWD in the amount of $38,585.
* Approved a contract with Municipal Emergency Services for a Fire Hose in the amount of $10,153.50.
* Approved step increased for Officer Tim Jimenez to Patrol Officer III and Officer Emily Bradley to Patrol Officer II.
* Learned that West Prairie Water Company located and repaired a large leak in the system on US Route 36. Hoel noted that they’re already noting large improvements due to the repair.
* Adjourned until the May 24 city council meeting at 7:30 p.m.