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'A-wading' the pool

A kiddie wading pool could be operational later this summer after years of fund-raising to bring the pool back up to state code.

As of Monday, $21,325 has been donated to work on renovations for the wading pool, said Wadena City Administrator Brad Swenson. The city of Wadena donated $5,000 toward the project. Other donations came from local foundations, businesses and citizens.

The pool closed about four years ago because it did not meet state health standards, such as having no recirculation system.

A new water line, recirculation and refiltering system will be installed and a zero depth entry will be added, said Ron Bucholz, Wadena public works director. The pool will use the existing 20-by-30-foot pool but about 10 feet by 20 feet will have enough water for wading and the rest will slope toward the zero depth entry. The pool depth will reach 15 to 18 inches on one side, he said. Bucholz hopes to add a couple bubbler or fountain-type features in the pool so kids can splash.

Water Tech Associates, an engineering firm from the Twin Cities, has been working with Bucholz on the design of the project. It has been submitted to the state for approval. As soon as he receives approval for the project, more work can begin.

"I'm hoping this will get done this summer," Bucholz said.

City of Wadena employees will work on the pool renovations, as well as a plumber and electricians who will be hired, he said.

Cory and Sarah Pettit of Wadena spearheaded fund-raising efforts, in part to get the pool up and running for their 2-year-old, Summer.

"She's so excited to go in the pool," Cory Pettit said.

Also, the Pettits hope to have the wading pool be a memorial for the late Pete Resch, who is Sarah's father. Resch, a Wadena police officer, died in the line of duty in May 2005. The Pettits hope to install a bench or something else with a memorial plaque after the wading pool is completed, Cory Pettit said.