In 2005 the city of Grand Marais formed a municipal pool committee and contracted with Burbach Aquatics to do a study on the feasibility of building a new pool versus renovating the existing one. The result was roughly $2 million to refurbish as opposed to $4 million to build a new pool. In the meantime a valid contract still exists between the city and Burbach, according to City Administrator Mike Roth.
That fact has prompted Burbach to remind the city of their contract, which according to Burbach, means if the city is going to talk about pool planning, they’ll need to do it with them. However, the city is not the only player in community center discussions and there is no guarantee Burbach will wind up doing the pool work.
This is all further complicated by the fact that the city can’t talk about it in the open, or for that matter in a closed session either. The reason, according to Roth is that in order to close a discussion, a lawsuit needs to be imminent, which so far it is not. On the other hand, they’re being advised by their attorney not to discuss the issue in public for fear of complicating the on-going legal negotiations.
Roth said the pool is a priority for the city, and the contract issue may become clearer after Wednesday’s council meeting. But at this point he can’t discuss what would become clearer -- or when.