Archive for Wednesday, January 10, 2007

City moving toward April pool vote

January 10, 2007

Tonganoxie City Council members moved closer Monday night to asking city residents to approve a 3/4-cent sales tax to finance a new swimming pool.

The new sales tax would be in effect for 10 years or until the swimming pool project is paid off -- whichever comes first.

On Monday, council members unanimously voted to ask the city staff to prepare an ordinance that would place on the April 3 ballot the funding request for the swimming pool, as well as improvements to two streets near the pool.

The council is slated to vote on that ordinance at its next meeting, Jan. 22.

The total sales tax package currently is estimated at nearly $3 million.

City Administrator Mike Yanez reminded council members that the city would not know how much the pool project will cost, until city officials seek bids for it.

Here's the cost breakdown for the package voters would consider April 3, according to city officials:

  • $20,000 for pool furnishings. This would include picnic tables, umbrellas, park benches, lounge chairs, pool cleaning and maintenance equipment, office furniture, concession stand equipment, cash registers and life-saving and first-aid equipment.
  • $122,218 to improve Pleasant Street between Second and Third streets, which runs on the east side of the swimming pool. This would include replacing the existing street with a 28-foot asphalt street, constructing curbs and gutters,, an asphalt parking lot on the west side and a five-foot sidewalk along the street.
  • $2,785,000 for a new pool, to be constructed at the site of the existing pool. The pool, in part,

would feature a bath house and concession area, five lap lanes, toddler play area, two large water slides, two one-meter diving boards, lighting, sound system, shade structures, zero-depth entry, landscaping and a total of 6,200 square feet of water surface. The existing pool has 4,000 square feet of water surface. The $2,785,000 estimate also includes cost of demolition of the existing pool and design fees, as well as $25,000 contingency.

"The actual construction cost isn't known until we go out for bid, but for funding purposes and for sales tax question purposes, we have to go with the estimate that our pool designer has given us for this project," Yanez said.

On Monday, council members said they didn't want to include a proposed skate park in the sales tax referendum because they had too many unanswered questions about the proposed park. A skate park has been estimated to cost $100,000, but the city has not determined where a park would be constructed.

"I think we're still quite a bit away from the skate park," council member Jason Ward said.

If voters approve the sales-tax request, construction would begin later this year.

Last year, discussions began in earnest about replacing Chief Tonganoxie Swimming Pool, built in the late 1920s. City officials said they believed repairs necessary to ensure operation of the pool could range from $250,000 to $350,000. The city appointed a committee, led by council member Jim Truesdell, to consider what amenities to include in a new pool.

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