Cerney addresses project questions

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With Mobridge voters going to the polls on Tuesday, April 9, to decide whether to approve the opt out to fund the building of a new outdoor aquatics center, there seems to be confusion within the community about the project.

City councilwoman and council representative for the swimming pool committee Amy Cerney said there is misinformation being passed through the community and some confusion on the ballot that should be cleared up before people vote on Tuesday.

“I want the voters going into the opt out vote on April 9 informed about the city’s plan on the outdoor pool,” she said. “I think there is misinformation that is being circulated on the design of the pool, the council’s intent and the people who are working on it.”

One of the clarifications is with the ballot for the opt out.

“It is very confusing. It doesn’t say anything about the pool,” said Cerney. “A vote yes is in favor of the opt out to fund the swimming pool. It has nothing to do with the school district extending the current opt out.”

Cerney said there have been inquiries about the funding and what the taxpayers will fund. The resolution passed was specific to the project. All opt out funds will be designated to a project payment fund. The opt out allows the city to request the amount needed each year to meet the project payment of $200,000. That amount will be determined each year according to the amount raised through donations, pledges and the city’s annual funding.

As of Tuesday, April 2, there

is $367,831 in the pool assigned fund. Since the pool committee was formed in October 2012, donations of $67,902 have been received as have pledges totaling $17,450 per year for the first three years. Pledges vary after that for a total of $117,000.

“This is not just a city project, it is a community project and the community has been very supportive,” she said. “This funding has come from individuals, business and organizations alike. The fundraising will not stop if the opt out is passed. We will continue to work because we are committed to ease the tax burden on the people of Mobridge.”

Cerney said the information about the project, the design of the pool and the funding has been and always will be available to the public. That information is available at city hall.

“All someone has to do is ask. The finance officer, the assistant finance officer or city manager or a council person will get it for you,” she said. “This is a public project, not a private enterprise. It is a function of the city to provide services to the community whether it makes money or not. It is important that this is available to the people.”

With the help of Cerney and the engineers who designed the project, the following are answers to some of the questions that have been asked.

Where will the new outdoor aquatics center be located?

The new pool will be located in the original location on 10th Street East as this location is centered with other summer activities such as baseball, softball, and tennis. It is a convenient location for children and because of the high volume of kids present at these locations during the summer months, safer for bike riders and children on foot. This property is already owned by the city and the site is ready for construction with the necessary infrastructure, i.e. water and sewer.

What will it cost a family for a summer membership?

This number has not been finalized, but it will be similar to past memberships for the former pool. Day passes will be available and swimming lessons will have an additional charge.

How big is the projected pool?

The new pool will have three main areas. The zero entry pool is 3,638-square feet. This portion of the new pool allows for handicap accessibility. The zero entry pool is connected to the lap pool so this is handicap accessible as well. The lap pool is 3,772-square feet. Finally, the slide empties into the plunge pool. This pool is 576-square feet. The total pool area is 7,986-square feet. Our previous pool was 8,000-square feet.

What is the depth of the lap pool and will there be diving boards?

The lap pool is a six-lane, 25m competition pool. It slopes from a depth of 3.5-feet to 12-feet. Two diving boards are planned for the 12-foot depth. These will be the diving boards from our previous pool including one of the low dives and the high dive. The City of Mobridge has been in contact with our insurer and information we have received states that there is no difference in swimming pool charge with or without diving boards. The deep end of the pool is necessary for diving instruction, lessons on treading water and life saving, as well as recreation.

How long will it take to filter the water in the pools?

The water in the zero entry recirculates every two hours. The entire pool recirculates in six hours.

What is the occupancy of the pool?

Maximum occupancy is 404 patrons. However, the bathhouse does control the actual posted occupancy based on toilets/showers. With the current number of fixtures, the patron load would be 250. In the last three years the average attendance is 133 per day. In 2009, the average attendance was approximately 80 per day but that was prior to the heater being repaired so attendance was way down. Once the heater was repaired the kids came back.

For swimming lessons there are three sessions offered per summer with three separate classes per session.  Each session has approximately 20 kids. They are always completely full.  McLaughlin and Timber Lake buses bring kids over for lessons.

How many lifeguards are required for the new pool?

Three life guard chairs are required for lap pool. One lifeguard for zero entry area, one life guard for slide drop area, and one lifeguard for top of slide.

Is this the only plan for a city pool?

Yes, the City of Mobridge has no other plans to fund a pool project. This is the only plan for a city-funded and-operated pool.

Is this the final design?

Yes, although small changes can be made as we go through the bid process, this is the final design.

How did the city arrive at the estimate of $2.5 million?

This is an estimate of construction costs prepared by our engineers. The breakdown is as follows: bath house, $350,000; pump house, $255,000; zero entry and lap pool, $1,350,000; play features, $50,000; water slide and plunge pool, $250,000; site work, parking, utilities, etc., $175,000; and contingencies, $70,000.

These figures will of course be dictated by the companies who submit bids for this project. The bid process is open to all who are appropriately bonded, insured, and experienced.

Who is the engineer for this project and what is their experience?

Helms and Associates from Aberdeen is the engineer for this project. They have designed the aquatic centers for Winner, Britton,  and Oakes, N.D.  They also provided site design services for the Aberdeen Aquatic Center.

Are there future plans for expansion?

The original design included plans for a lazy river and additional water slide. The necessary infrastructure will be there if the community ever decides to include these features at a later date.

– Katie Zerr –

 
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