Joint meeting of steering committee/city council helps bring plan closer to completion

On Wed., Nov. 2, members of the Recreational Facilities Steering Committee and the city’s governing body attended a joint meeting to discuss the final direction of a Facilities Master Plan. The goal of the meeting was to narrow down concepts of what a new facility might include, including a preferred conceptual site design.

The meeting highlighted anticipated capital and operational costs associated with the concepts. Amenities presented in the concepts were based on top preferences respondents identified in a statistically-valid survey. Those attending the meeting were provided the opportunity to provide feedback by placing a dot on the conceptual site design, to indicate preferences, and including whether or not to include indoor aquatics.

One result of the meeting was a consensus decision that if facilities were built, they would be located at the north end of the property in Vavra Park to maximize potential parking capacity with the community center positioned on the east and aquatics on the west. At this time, the plan includes both indoor and outdoor aquatics.

Capital costs to build these facilities ranges from $23–$25 million, including site preparation. Operational costs are anticipated to be in the $1.3–$1.5 million range, but cost recovery is anticipated to be $1.1 million, meaning that approximately 25 percent of the operation would be covered by taxes and 75 percent recovered in user fees. This is a significant shift from current operations which are 18–20 percent cost recovery for IBFCC and 40– 50 percent for the MAC.

Next, consultants will update concept using feedback from the Nov. 2 to develop the Facilities Master Plan’s final stage, which will include even more detailed capital and operational costs. This information is critical for the creation a draft Facilities Master Plan document scheduled for a presentation at the Dec. 12 city council meeting.

Following the council presentation, the public will have an opportunity to provide input on the plan Dec. 13, at 7 p.m., at the IBFCC. Once public feedback collected from the meeting is reviewed, a final document will go before city council on Jan. 9. The acceptance of this document by council will simply acknowledge the work accomplished, an understanding implications associated with building new facilities. A decision about which of three options to pursue will begin in the Spring of 2017:

  1. fix mechanical / structural issues in existing facilities;
  2. demolish and remodel sections of existing facilities, or
  3. build new, will be a 2018 budget discussion topic.

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