Park and rec board to recommend $1.5 million bond

The Grant City Park and Rec advisory committee members voted unanimously to request the city council place a $1.5 million bond on the general election ballot to be used toward a new pool and bathhouse. 

Committee members Ryan Hendricks, Valerie Hochstein, Wendy Skeels and Jill Barry also voted on four other recommendations for the council.

Since the committee is not elected, they can only make recommendations to the council. 

Larry Steele and Reed Miller of Miller and Associates were present to answer questions on the pool evaluation they completed in 2016. 

City Attorney Phil Pierce said he felt it was important to mention that it was made clear to Miller and Associates that they would not receive special favor when it came time for pool bids just because they completed the evaluation. He said the reason behind that was to receive a neutral reading on what was needed for the pool. 

Carrothers Construction Company submitted conceptual site plans and budgets to the Perkins County Pool Committee. Their nearly $2.3 million project was similar in design to Miller and Associates probable project cost of just over $3.4 million. 

Hendricks asked Miller and Associates why the costs varied so greatly. 

Miller said the philosophies of the two firms are completely different. He added they do not use standard designs, but work with the owner from start to finish to design and complete the project. 

He also said they were told to inflate the prices because the project may not happen for three to five years, so many of the numbers were off. 

Steele said the bathhouse from Carrothers is also smaller than the one they presented. 

Looking at the numbers, City Auditor Terry Galloway proposed a $1.8 million general obligation bond.

He also proposed a $900,000 bond/loan against the sales and use tax, but it was unclear if this could be done. 

The committee discussed and voted unanimously to:

• Recommend to the city council to proceed with the pool and bathhouse project.

• Request the city council place a $1.5 million bond on November’s general election ballot.

• Request the city attorney to submit a draft resolution to the city council for the bond election.

• Suggest that the city council retain bond counsel to draft the ballot question.

• Suggest that the city council retain a grant writer to offset costs.

Although Hendricks was to present these recommendations and suggestions to the city council at their July 24 meeting, a quorum was not present. 

The city council meeting was continued to Tuesday, July 31. 

The Grant Tribune-Sentinel

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