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Dave Olson, Published August 10 2010

Moorhead eyes new pool rules

The Moorhead City Council on Monday gave first reading to changes in swimming pool rules.

Under the proposed ordinance changes, a permit will be required for all new and existing private pools that hold 5,000 gallons or more and are at least 2 feet deep.

Also, such pools would have to be enclosed by a 5-foot-tall fence or wall.

The fence rule would not be required for an above-ground or portable pool if the pool is equipped with a ladder that can be detached or retracted when the pool is not in use.

Such pools would also be exempt from the fence requirement if access to their ladder can be blocked by a fence, gate or other means.

Private pools below ground level would be exempt from the fence requirement if they are equipped with a hard, walkable cover that can be put in place when the pool is not in use.

The ordinance will require a second reading before it becomes effective.

Also Monday, the council approved a policy change that will allow management and technical staff to receive time and a half when they work overtime in response to an emergency like a flood.

In the past, when such workers received overtime, it was straight time, not the time and a half hourly workers typically receive when getting overtime.

The policy change was made retroactive to the 2010 flood for an additional cost to the city of about $17,000.

Mayor Mark Voxland said it’s a “different type of world” during a flood and management employees can put in 21-hour days.

“That’s something nobody signs up for,” he said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555