Public input sought for swimming pool design

Conceptual designs for a swimming pool to replace the one at Prentis Park could be submitted to the public for feedback by the end of the month.

The announcement was made by City Manager John Prescott at the regular meeting of the Vermillion City Council Monday night.

"The (current) pool was constructed in 1965 and has an approximately 50-year lifespan to it," Prescott said. "We are looking at some issues with respect to the filter room needing some major renovations if we continue with this facility. Our bathhouse is not something that meets the current code of bathhouses built today and is in need of an upgrade."

These and other repairs could cost up to $250,000, he added.

The pool's defects were outlined last year by a committee which then interviewed four consultants to complete the pool.

Water's Edge Aquatic Design of Lenexa, KS, was approved last November by the city council to complete the swimming pool plan.

An online survey regarding the existing pool was then completed by more than 400 local participants, as well as an informal survey with all the sixth-graders in the community.

A date to display the potential designs to the public will be finalized soon, Prescott said.

"People might ask, 'Why are you doing this? What is this about?'" he said. "If we don't have a plan, we don't really know where it is that we're going to go, so by doing this, we're hoping to develop a plan in respect to the future of aquatics here in the community.

"Once we have that plan and get some community feedback, I think the council and staff are in a better position to move forward with the funding, in particular if there are any sort of donor dollars that might be available, any sort of grants, things like that that we can work toward," he said.

The Vermillion Public Library is a good example of how this method works, Prescott said.

"(In that case) we had a project to present to the community, and they understood that the project was moving forward," he said.

When the plan is put together, the city council probably will discuss the project "extensively" when it lays out the city budget for 2013, Prescott said.

Among its other business at the meeting, the council approved a grant agreement with the Vermillion Basin Water Development District (VBWDD) for the city's ongoing storm drainage study.

On March 5, the council had approved a contract with SHE Engineering to complete the study – which was divided into phases ranging from data-gathering to developing a CIP plan – in portions of the city.

The city originally had budgeted $70,000 for the drainage study, the cost of which came in at $51,000.

City Engineer José Dominguez said city staff met with the VHWDD to see if they would fund a portion of the study, which only includes two basins.

"The city is probably going to be divided into seven basins, and each basin will have to be studied so we know what improvements need to be made to that basin to accommodate for future development … or any major storm events that might impact the area," Dominquez said.

VBWDD offered a "very generous" grant of $30,000 for any additional basins that might require study, Dominquez said.

"The stipulation is that the money would have to be given to the city in $10,000 increments over the following three years, including this year," he said.

The proposal was met with unanimous approval.

This also was the case in the awarding of two construction projects.

The first project was to repair the concrete pavement around the bays of the east side of the Service Center on west Duke Street.

"The concrete around that area has been placed in sections, and the first portion was probably built in the mid-'80s by city staff, and the last set in the early '90s," Dominguez said. "The concrete that is currently there … is in bad shape, and has failing either due to the large amount of truck traffic that we have and possibly poor drainage in the area."

Quote specifications were sent to seven potential bidders, four of whom replied.

"The proposed concrete will be eight inches thick and will be placed on a six-inch aggregate base," Dominguez said. "In addition, the drainage will also be addressed with the project by replacing the drainage soil that drains from the north by where the fence is to enter the back of the service center. It's going to drain south toward Duke Street."

The project – which was accounted for in the 2011 budget – was awarded to Walker Construction for the amount of $21,705.32.

The second project the councilors approved was the renovation of the Barstow Skate Park.

"Over the last couple years the city has been collecting funding sources for converting the existing ice rink into a multiuse facility," Dominguez said. "The new skate park will be a skateboard/roller blade park in the summer and an ice-skating rink in the winter."

The proposed skate park will consist of a six-inch concrete slab with curb and gutter. The slab will measure 77 feet by 152 feet, and will drain toward the south into a grassy area, which eventually will drain to Dartmouth Street.

Dominguez said $80,000 has been budgeted for the project, which will cover the construction as well as some of the amenities that will be installed for summer use.

The bid was awarded to Vermillion Construction Company for the amount of $46,875.

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