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'Full mean deal' aquatics center recommended

GRANDVIEW - If the Grandview Parks and Recreation Service Area Board follows the suggestion made last night (Monday) by the Grandview City Council, community members could soon have a new multi-purpose room to utilize as part of the proposed family aquatics center.

However, the multi-purpose room comes with a price.

The construction of the multi-purpose room would drive the overall price of the proposed aquatics center to $6.8 million. The facility would also include a 50-meter pool and a zero-depth recreational pool, which would allow for easy pool access for seniors and young children.

"I say we go for the full meal deal," said Mayor Norm Childress.

Members of the service area board noted that they haven't had a chance to study the effects adding a multi-purpose room to the facility would have on its ability to turn a profit. Board Chair Dave Copeland said the board was looking at the option of seeking grant funding to help construct a multi-purpose room for the aquatics center once the proposal is approved by voters this spring.

City Administrator Jim Sewell said with the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program on the chopping block this year when it comes to receiving federal funding, cities throughout the country could have just one more year to try to secure funding through the program.

"There is probably no more than a 50 percent chance of getting a grant even if the federal money is available," Sewell explained. "I think if you want a multi-purpose room you'll have to do it yourself."

Childress said the addition of a multi-purpose room could work to make the aquatics center more of a year-around facility. He said instead of driving past in the middle of winter and seeing a moth-balled building, community members could see cars in the parking lot and lights on in the multi-purpose room.

"It just opens you up," Childress said.

The addition of the multi-purpose room brings the cost of the aquatics center up from $6.1 million, which includes the cost of constructing a 50-meter pool for the facility, to $6.8 million. But both council and board members noted that with the increase in the cost of the project the board could look at offering voters a 25-year bond instead of a 20-year bond, as originally intended. Spreading the cost of the project over 25 years would bring with it a tax rate of 88¢ per $1,000 of assessed valuation. This is actually less than what it would cost voters to approve a $6.1 million project with a 20-year bond, which could bring with it a tax rate of 89¢ per $1,000 of assessed valuation. However, the $6.1 million project would not include a multi-purpose room.

"I think we go with the biggest and the best," said Councilman Rick McLean. "Then we as a council jump on board and get behind it."

The Parks and Recreation Service Area Board will meet on Tuesday, March 29, at 7 p.m. in the Grandview City Council chambers to make a final decision as to which option will be included in the aquatics center proposal that will be brought to voters on the May 17 ballot.

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