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Mankato sports, recreation facilities request $35 million for improvements

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 5:07 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2021 at 7:02 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Mankato sports and recreation facilities are calling on the city for more than $35 million worth of improvements.

“We have such beautiful facilities in Mankato, and the main thing is to keep them in good shape,” said Mayor Najwa Massad.

In a two-hour discussion Monday night, the city council reviewed updates on the facilities’ needs.

“We can accomplish the tasks that we wanted to do prior to COVID,” added Councilperson At-Large Mike Laven.

At the top of the list was the Maverick Hockey arena, which is looking for $11 million to replace its roof, wall panels, air conditioning, heating systems and ice plant.

“Equipment that runs 24/7 or certainly is a very hardworking piece of machinery does wear out,” mentioned Laven.

Tourtellotte Pool is also seeking assistance; asking for nearly $4 million to cover essential fixes and maintenance work. Other renovations to its bathhouse and mechanical system are also needed.

Massad stated, “We want to make sure that we are taking good care of it, not just for the facility itself but the people that are using it.”

Youth sports are facing challenges after size limitations and rising costs halted plans to expand All Seasons Arena and upgrade youth facilities. The city said they are exploring alternate locations for the arena as well as a new partnership with District 77.

“Let’s go with something that is larger, can collaborate more, and at one spot, and that may mean that it’s at a different location,” Laven explained.

Thomas Park and the Community Athletic Fields are seeking $6 million to update the youth softball and baseball facilities.

All improvements will be supported by sales-tax revenue, which has been steadily making a comeback since its 11% decline last year.

Laven said, “The sales tax proceeds are a lot closer to normal than we had anticipated.”

Projects could begin as soon as next spring, but the council said people may not notice them since most are behind-the-scenes maintenance work.

Discussion on allocating funds will continue next week.

“We want to make sure we are making some good choices because we’re wanting to build things that will last 40 to 50 years again,” mentioned Laven.

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