Transfer of Community Center takes first step

By Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

The New Prague City Council took the first step in transferring ownership of the New Prague Area Community Center from the Economic Development Authority (EDA) to the city at the council's Monday, June 6, meeting.

The EDA acted as the sponsoring organization in 1996 to acquire a state grant to help fund the building, which houses an indoor ice rink and other facilities. The EDA leases the site and all operational authority to the New Prague Area Community Center Association (NPACCA), a non-profit group that built and still operates the facility.

The transfer of powers was recommended by the EDA at the council's May 16 meeting, in order to facilitate a planned addition to the Community Center. The addition will include new locker rooms, showers and a dryland area for off ice training. An agreement was reached with the New Prague Area School District, to finance much of the addition. Under the agreement, the area schools will lease the locker rooms for use during the high school hockey season for the next 10 years.

At the June 6 meeting, City Administrator Mike Johnson explained the document would start the process of moving the EDA's powers, duties and responsibilities to the city. The document has also been submitted to the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission, which issued the original grant and will also have to approve the transfer. Johnson said the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission who turned it over to the attorney general's office who made some slight changes to the document.

The council unanimously approved the document. It was scheduled to be presented to the EDA at its Wednesday, June 8, meeting.

Other documents will have to be considered for the process. One involves the modification of the Use Contract that presently exists between the EDA and the NPACCA.

Seal Coating Bid

The council also unanimously approved Pearson Brothers Inc., of Hanover for the 2011 street seal coating project. The business had the lowest bid of the three submitted.

Public Works Director Dennis Seurer said that seal coating consists of applying a hot emulsified asphalt product, which is immediately covered by a small granite aggregate. The seal coating is to help extend the life of the street. It's estimated this year's project will cost $108,624 to cover 102,475 square yards of street. The bid from Pearson Brothers Inc., was for $1.06 per square yard.

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