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A new pool at Judge Lewis Park took one more step towards becoming a reality with the approval by the city council Monday evening of a “basic concept” for what the facility might include. The council stressed that a “working concept” is just that and doesn’t mean amenities can’t be added or deleted during the process and when firm construction costs are received.
The city will be working with the Aquatic Committee during this process. Aquatic Committee members Lywanda Case and Jim Murphy made the pool presentation to the council.
The need for a basic outline was due to the application for a $250,000 CAT grant which is due this month. A pool concept is required to qualify for the grant. The working concept has a price tag of $3.72 million dollars, well above the city’s bonding target of $3.1 million. The difference, if that amount is approved, will have to come from new grants, donations or an increase in spending by the city which may take money away from other city projects.
So far, approximately $830,000 has been received in donations. A fund drive in the near future is being planned.
The concept was designed by Waters Edge Aquatic Design in Kansas City who the city has hired to oversee the project. The concept includes amenities such as a zero depth entry, spray features, a family slide, current channel, ADA life, lap lanes, volleyball net, basketball goal, open flume slide, diving area with two diving boards, and sunshade structures.
The council approved to enter into a loan agreement for $700,000. The money is earmarked for downtown improvements including constructing drainage, sewer improvements, sidewalk and alley improvements, and street lighting, signage improvements.
The council also approved a $180,000 payment to 38H Construction for downtown improvements. The money is expected by the city to be reimbursed by a government grant.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, Rick Farrell of Mount Ayr asked the council if they were willing to explore the sale of some trees at Loch Ayr Lake. Farrell said a quick driveby of the timber area showed a number of Walnut trees which are bringing top dollar right now. He proposed him cutting and selling the trees and splitting the profits equally with the city. The city asked Farrell to do an inspection of the timber to get a better idea of what kind of wood would be available.
• the city approved a budget amendment moving some project costs anticipated during the last fiscal year but not paid into the current fiscal year.
• discussed what to do with a house at 303 West Van Buren which was heavily damaged by fire.
• accepted the resignation of Ranae Stewart as Judge Lewis Recreation Director.
• approval of a number of other program payments and submitting reports.