McKinley Pool Repairs Funding Deposit
PORTSMOUTH – Fundraising continues for the rehabilitation of the McKinley Pool after an order authorizing the commitment of funds for repairs was filed on Monday evening.
The ordinance, which would have authorized the allocation of $ 400,000.00 and $ 320,000.00 for the rehabilitation of the McKinley swimming pool and authorizing the city manager to follow the appropriate procurement process for a project according to the design criteria -construction was tabled after a long discussion.
During the meeting, Councilor Sean Dunne made a motion to file the ordinance, but recanted after the mayor asked if council could still discuss the ordinance if it was filed. Dunne withdrew his motion and brought in a new motion for the first reading of the order, which allowed for discussion.
City Councilor Charlotte Gordon told council she was in favor of using the money the city has available to make repairs to the pool. Gordon said she was part of a meeting where the contractors came and gave an estimate of the cost of the repairs and thinks it is a good investment.
“This is not a new project,” Gordon said. “I realize that there is validity when there is a new project to get grants and use them. However, I think dropping it and pushing it back is not good. It is time sensitive.
Gordon shared that if council did not move forward on the ordinance, she feared the pool and repairs would be postponed for a year.
“This is how the pool has become in the disrepair that it is in,” Gordon said. “Every year, the land is pushed to the end of the road. I think it’s an existing asset for our city and it’s one of the few things kids can do in our city.
Gordon said although the pool has been in poor condition for some time, she understands the city was not always able to allocate money for repairs.
“The city was in a lot of financial trouble so the money wasn’t there,” Gordon said. “The money is there now, and I think if you look at the money on the table and look at the 20 years or more that it hasn’t been worked on and you extend it into the future, that covers the cost of $ 18,000 to $ 20,000 per year, which should have been put in from the start. “
Gordon also told the council if they believe all projects in the city should be funded by grants that the council should consider hiring a full-time grant writer.
“I think in the future this shouldn’t be filed,” Gordon said. “Putting it off for a year or saying we need more money or a little magic money, that’s the way things don’t get done. “
Councilors Sean Dunne also raised concerns at the pool and ordinance, asking when estimates were made for repairs and if county commissioners had been asked to help financially or if grants could be found .
“I guess what puzzles me is that if it’s so urgent, why has there been all this time that has gone by without conversations with the county or considering grant opportunities? “said Dunne. “I guess I was under the assumption that this was part of the process that had already been started.”
Dunne said it had not been easy to put the money in the pool and that he agreed with Gordon on the negligence, but the town now plans to spend more than $ 700,000 from the taxpayer money without seeking grants or commissioner assistance.
“There are a lot of grant opportunities that would help fund this,” Dunne said. “What I think we should be committing to is this prioritization of the pool within these grants and review grants that we don’t know about.”
Dunne listed several examples of projects the city has completed over the years, indicating that while these projects were not 100% funded by outside grants and money, they were helped by outside funding. which reduced the cost of taxpayer dollars.
“What we did was stretch a dollar into three dollars,” Dunne said. “In my opinion, this is good governance. It takes limited funds from the city and makes it into something much bigger, getting the majority of the money from outside our region.
Councilor Edwin Martell also spoke at the meeting, saying he had spoken with Scioto County Commissioner Scottie Powell and that Powell would like to have a meeting with Gordon and others involved in the pool to make improvements.
After a few more minutes of discussion, the council voted to file the order without a specific date in order to bring it back for discussion. All council members voted to approve the motion to file the ordinance, except Gordon.
An order that would have authorized the allocation of $ 400,000.00 and $ 320,000.00 for the rehabilitation of the McKinley Pool and authorizing the City Manager to follow the appropriate procurement process for a project according to design-build criteria was tabled after a long discussion on Monday.
Contact Adam Black at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1927, or by email to [email protected]
© 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved