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Council approves $15,500 expenditure for aquatics center project

GRANDVIEW - When Grandview City Council met three weeks ago it approved spending almost $12,000 to make improvements to the pathway that surrounds Dykstra Park.

Monday night, council members approved another expenditure. This time city council voted to allocate $15,500 to help pay for architectural services and election costs associated with the proposal for a new aquatic center in Grandview.

The funds being distributed by the city are being taken from $71,000 in additional revenue that has become available in the current expense fund. According to City Administrator Jim Sewell, the additional funds are from utility tax revenues that are running ahead of estimates.

When the council was working to create the 2004 budget last fall, each of the department heads submitted a list of one-time capital items they would like purchased if funds were available. At the time, council decided to wait to make any decisions on the purchases until they had a better idea of what the revenue estimates would be for the year.

After making a decision last month to spend money on refurbishing the Dykstra Park pathway, council members decided to wait until they discovered the fate of Initiative 864, which would have had a significant impact on the city's budget. Sewell noted that the initiative did not make the ballot.

When council met Monday, Sewell offered them several options of what they could do with the additional funds. He noted that they could simply save the money until it is needed to offset budget issues that have arisen since the passage of initiates like I-695, which he estimates will be just several years down the road. He said council could also choose to simply go down the list of capital items that were submitted by the department heads, and choose the items they wanted to purchase until they had gone through the additional funds.

Councilwoman Helen Darr said she would like to see council hold onto the money. Councilman Robert Morales agreed with Darr, with the exception of putting the $15,500 aside for the aquatics center.

During the meeting, council voted to approve the expenditure for the aquatics center, with the exception of Darr who voted against the measure.

Sewell explained that the funds will be used to pay for an architect to take a look at the aquatics center project and divide it into certain individual pieces that can be fit together to create an aquatics center that will be deemed affordable by voters.

. Elena Olmstead can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or e-mail her at eolmstead@eaglenewspapers.com

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