*This story was featured in the Hastings Tribune on August 5, 2016.
MINDEN — The Minden City Council has approved a second reading of a proposed ordinance to help combat safety concerns associated with private swimming pools.
Ordinance No. 1211 would require all private swimming pools and hot tubs be placed in the side or backyard, with pools required to be surrounded by a fence. The ordinance also states that hot tubs or spas are required to have a cover when not in use, but don’t have to be enclosed by a fence.
Minden City Administrator Matt Cederburg said the ordinance started because of an increase in the number of pools within the city limits.
“I think it came to the forefront because there have been a lot of above-ground pools going up,” he said. “It seemed like there were two or three going up this year.”
Cederburg said Minden modeled its proposed city ordinance off similar ordinances in Hickman and Grand Island. He also said the ordinance should help keep homes more aesthetically pleasing by requiring owners to keep pools or hot tubs in the side or backyard.
At the previous two City Council meetings, no one came forward to express displeasure with the proposed ordinance. Still, Cederburg cites a potential concern associated with the costs of building a fence.
If the ordinance passes as expected, city officials plan to create a user-friendly pamphlet that clearly explains the requirements associated with the ordinance.
The third and final reading of the ordinance is scheduled for Aug. 15. If the ordinance is approved at that meeting, citizens will have 30 days to get up to code.