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Decision on Bathhouse project tabled for three weeks by City Council

Monday, January 21, 2002

Steep price may shelve bathhouse - concession stand construction project for time being.

The Alta City Council passed a motion to table a decision concerning bids for the planned bathhouse/concession stand project, a move spurred by higher-than-expected bids from the four contractors vying to work on the Alta endeavor.

Council members had planned to make a decision regarding the issue during a special meeting Monday night, but instead decided to wait until the Feb. 4 meeting to decide whether to accept any of the proposed bids or to delay the venture indefinitely.

The lowest bid for the enterprise was from Paul Park Construction of Cherokee, who bid $202,918, and the highest was from Tom French of Alta, who bid $209,870.

The other two contractors, Taylor Contracting of Storm Lake and Midstates Builders of Spencer, bid $205,510 and $205,868, respectively.

Those figures are less expensive than initial bids for the project, which were around $213,000, but the numbers were too high for several City Council members, who were hoping for bids in the range of $150,000 to $165,000 for the project.

Several members, including Bruce McGowan, raised the possibility that the project might be scrapped for the time being due to the high cost, and said the money might be better spent funding other endeavors around the community.

"I didn't realize it would be that high when we started this," McGowan said. "My opinion is that this is too much money for what we're getting. Personally, I'd rather see them tear Main Street up and fix the curbs and gutters and resurface Main Street for that $200,000 and have something the whole town can enjoy."

"I'd rather see that money spent elsewhere in town," City Council member Ron Gullickson said. "This seems like a steep price for this project."

Much of the concern of the two councilmen stems from several other large projects which need to be accounted for in the city's budget this year, including the West Highway renovation project, which is estimated to cost about $100,000, the purchase of a new dump truck, which will cost approximately $70,000, and a maximum of $125,000 in matching funds to the Alta Education Foundation for the new community library to be built in the new elementary addition.

The latest figures show Alta will end up with approximately $795,000 in revenue to spend in the next fiscal year, and the potential expenditures from those three aforementioned items could total $295,000 of that amount.

"We've got a lot of money to roll out this year," Gullickson said. "We have to figure out whether this amount of money is something we're comfortable spending with all of these other costs too."

The proposed bathhouse/concession stand would replace the old facility which is adjacent to the city pool south of the Alta High School football field.

The project would be a new home to those using the pool and would also provide a new shelter for the school to operate a concession stand during football games in the fall.

There would also be handicapped-accessible showers and bathrooms, and an outdoor restroom to be used by patrons during football season.

Plans originally called for construction to begin as soon as possible in the spring, and would continue throughout the summer, with a completion date set for the latter part of August.

That timetable would not be changed if the City Council does vote to approve. Bids will be valid until Feb. 12.

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