The Fairmont City Council Monday chose to take the next step toward a proposed community center. By a 4-1 vote, the council supported entering into a memorandum of understanding with the YMCA of Albert Lea and Worthington. Mike Humpal, city administrator said “Basically, the goal is to determine if it’s feasible to financially meet the programming needs of both entities, the city’s and the YMCA’s, and provide cash flow adequate to operate, staff and maintain a community center.” .

The memorandum, which had been approved earlier in the day by the Worthington Y’s board of directors, calls for the city to pay $45 per hour for YMCA representatives to meet with Fairmont Community Education & Recreation and other groups in Fairmont to talk about existing programs, budgets and staffing. Humpal estimated the total cost to the city will be less than $5,000.

At the end of 120 days, the YMCA and the city will evaluate the findings and determine if they want to continue the partnership to the next level. Councilor Wayne Hasek, who has previously opposed the community center, cast the lone dissenting vote.

The council accepted the low bid of $233,500 from Phoenix Corp. of Spring Grove for replacement of the Pioneer Bridge. The engineer’s estimate for the pedestrian bridge, which will be similar to the one in Cedar Creek Park, was $260,000, and the two other bids submitted were over $315,000.

The council agreed to pay the Lakeside Cemetery Association a one-time fee of $500 for a temporary easement to allow access for equipment during the bridge’s construction.

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