CROSSLAKE - Is an expansion of a fitness room at the Crosslake Community Center an unfair competition for private business?
That was the question before the Crosslake City Council Monday.
Michelle Schmidt, owner of Anytime Fitness in Crosslake, objected to a previously approved $75,000 to replace and expand the Community Center's fitness equipment.
Schmidt said she already has the fitness equipment to meet the community's needs and she suggested the center's fitness room be left as it is.
"It will take away from my business," Schmidt said. "If this went through with the city council I would literally be out of business. ... I'm private sector. The city government should not compete with the private sector. ... The Community Center could put that money toward other things."
Dean Spencer, Crosslake, said the city was providing a service with its fitness center and if that was competition the city would have to close the parks and playgrounds too. Using that logic, Spencer said the city shouldn't be able to open its new library because its in competition with Haven Books.
The council repeated its approval to spend up to $75,000 for items such as treadmills and upgraded weight lifted equipment.
About 10 people addressed the council on the issue, with the majority in favor of expanding the city's fitness room. The city received at least 19 letters of support for the planned expansion.
With more people living in the area, Jon Henke, parks and recreation director, said he hoped there was room for both centers.
Council member Irene Schultz said the clientele served by the center was older and not in competition with the Anytime Fitness. Council members Steve Roe, Terry Curtis and Dean Swanson said they also believed the two could coexist. Mayor Jay Andolshek said the city is not out to ruin a small business.
The Community Center was constructed about 10 years ago. Anytime Fitness, a 24 hour co-ed fitness center, opened in March of 2005 in the Crosslake Town Square.
Henke will return to the board with a proposal outlining the equipment the Community Center is seeking such as a replacement for a treadmill donated to the city in 1997. Henke said it now has 20,000 miles on it.
RENEE RICHARDSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5852.
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