CROSSLAKE - The Crosslake City Council split its vote Friday at a special meeting on whether it should purchase equipment to expand the Crosslake Community Center's fitness room.
Crosslake mayor Jay Andolshek and council member Irene Schultz voted in favor of spending $70,430 to replace and expand the community center's fitness equipment from Magnum Fitness Systems in South Milwaukee. Council members Dean Swanson and Steve Roe voted against the proposal.
The motion failed, and in the end, the council agreed to table the issue to give the opposed members more time to look at the proposal and to have staff address any unanswered questions.
The council is looking at replacing about five pieces of equipment that are not deemed the most safe and to have a total of 26 stations in the fitness room.
Jon Henke, Crosslake parks and recreation director, said the city is looking at the expansion because the city is responsible to provide health, safety and welfare to residents, and an improved fitness center would fill these needs.
The council held a public hearing on the issue to give residents a chance to speak on the issue.
Michelle Schmidt, owner of Anytime Fitness in Crosslake, opposes the proposal. She said the equipment the city would purchase is the same she has at her business. She said the city would end up spending $30,000 a year for the expansion and would have to raise its fees.
"There is not enough room in this town for two fitness centers," Schmidt said. "The city is not supposed to compete with businesses, it is suppose to promote its businesses ... If you do this, I will be out of business in a year. You might as well buy me out."
Larry Hopkins, who goes to the fitness center three times a week, said he spent a lot of time researching fitness centers and the one in Crosslake meets all the needs of the people. He said he is new to Crosslake, and one of the reasons he moved to town was because the community is growing and he'd like to see it continue to grow.
Pastor Steve Anderson also works out at the fitness center.
"You have a chance to make an investment to the community, and I know you don't want anything to happen to Michelle," he said. "I don't think she'll get hurt."
Joe Albrecht of Breezy Point said he also is an avid user of the fitness room at the community center and said Anytime Fitness doesn't works for him.
Albrecht, like several other residents, said the fitness center is good for senior citizens because it's more focused on serving the elderly, people on a fixed income and children ages 15-18.
Schultz said the community center has a different clientele than Anytime Fitness and would serve the community.
Andolshek said many people in the community use the fitness center and it would be a good investment to expand it.
Swanson said he wanted to see a list of what the city would be replacing and what it would add before he would support the expansion.
The council agreed to talk about the fitness room again at its next meeting in April.
JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5851.
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