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The pool and streets again topped discussion items for the Mount Ayr city council at their Monday, June 20 meeting.
To begin the pool discussion, councilman Mack Greene reported the recommendation from the Pool Committee that the city proceed with the roughly $4 million plan to construct a new pool at the site of the 60-year-old pool at Judge Lewis Park.
Greene and city administrator Brent Wise outlined the sources of potential funding for the project (see chart at above right).
Wise said the city has already received $500,000 in donations and pledges.
Wise added two potential revenue sources are available but not guaranteed. These include $1.15 million in grants and another $350,000 in fund-raising efforts and additional pledges.
The final piece to the puzzle is a bond referendum that would go to the county voters in the fall.
The bond would generate up to $2 million with passage set at a state-mandated threshold of 60 percent plus one vote approval.
The annual tax increase upon passage of the bond was quoted at $4.11 per $1,000 valuation (or approximately $50 per year on a property with an assessed value of $100,000) for city tax payers with no tax increase for properties outside the city limits.
Wise stated a second option requiring no referendum would be dependent upon the city designating Judge Lewis Park as a urban renewal area to include a TIF district. The designation of a TIF district would not generate revenue by itself, but it would increase the authority to borrow against a potential debt.
Wise explained the county could utilize the TIF authority to borrow up to $2 million with the city being responsible for the loan payment.
With either option, Wise estimated bond or loan payments of $120,000 per year over a period of 20 years.
In addition, Wise added maintenance costs to run the new pool at approximately $93,000 per year, about $20,000 higher than current costs.
Council discussion then centered upon whether the city would want to take on the increased expenses for 20 years.
Alternatives could include reducing the scope of a new pool project by removing features or simply using the footprint of the existing pool rather than increasing the size.
After considerable discussion, councilman Ken Robertson moved to hire a bonding attorney to draw up papers for a referendum on a $2 million bond. Robertson and council members Mack Greene and Jessica Bishop voted to approve the motion while council members Brad Elliott and Jordan Stewart voted no.
Another item that generated lengthy discussion concerned bids received to replace the surface on Valley West Drive.
The city had provided two options: replaced the current concrete surface with new concrete and concrete curbs and gutters or replace the surface with asphalt with concrete curb and gutters.
Project engineers had earlier estimated the cost for the all-concrete option at $125,550.
The only bid, from TK Concrete, for this option came in at $131,610.
A second bid for the asphalt option, from Grimes Asphalt, came in at $168,325.
Discussion centered on the city’s ability to afford the Valley West project along with the scheduled rehabilitation of a block of Van Buren Street between Polk and Tyler streets.
On Van Buren the city plans to replace a tube, widen the street surface, and cut brush and other improvements along the ditch area at an estimated cost of $35,000.
The bids for the Valley West project are good for 30 days, so the council decided to complete the Van Buren improvements to determine if any funds are left over from that project. In the meantime, city officials can examine funding options to move forward with the resurfacing of Valley West.
In other business the council:
• approved a list of additional little league umpires for upcoming tournament games. These include Erik Trujillo, Adan Trujillo, Mackenzie Knox, Dannie Stewart, and Tytan Gourley.
• approved 3 percent salary increases for employees at the Mount Ayr Public Library.
• approved Class B Beer and Sunday Sales permits for Lucky Lanes and a Class C Liquor License and Sunday Sales permit for El Vaquero.
• approved replacing the city’s ATV/UTV ordinance language with that of a newly-passed state law pertaining to their usage on public roadways.