Bids come in high for pool work

With bids coming in substantially higher than predicted, the Vandalia Park District is forced to scale back the renovation of the Vandalia Municipal Swimming Pool.
But, one of the park district commissioners has an idea to rectify the situation.
While Hurst-Roche Engineers of Hillsboro estimated that renovations to the pool would cost about $1.275 million, the three bids for the work ranged from $1.2 million-$1.5 million. But the lowest of the bids, submitted by Wolfe Construction, does not include improvements to the bathhouse.
The work that can be done with the $1.275 million the park district has put together for the project includes a new deck and other improvements necessary to meet state guidelines.
The park district started the process of making renovations to the pool after it was given a third warning by state inspectors. Without the improvements mandated by the state, the district would have to close the pool.
To fund the improvements, the park district is using a $400,000 grant from the Old Capitol Foundation, a $315,000 Tax Increment Financing grant from the city, $390,000 in alternate bond and $353,000 in general obligation bonds. The district will use the TIF grant funds to repay the alternate bonds, with the balance of the bonds to be paid off with surplus monies in the district’s general fund.
At the park board meeting last week, Commissioner Brian Stout said he would like to see if the district can still make improvements to the bathhouse.
Stout said that he would like to organize an informal meeting with local contractors to see if they would be willing to step in and help the district.
“I feel like we can get it done in a more-reasonable manner,” Stout said, explaining that local contractors couldn’t bid on the pool project because they are not qualified for aquatics projects.
A committee formed for the project would meet with contractors expressing an interest in working on improvements not being funded with monies raised for the pool project.
During the meeting, pool Manager Lisa Robbins said that the board formerly used for the high dive would be used to construct a bench for the pool, and that she would like to see the old pool ladder incorporated into the bathhouse.
Robbins also reported that her staff will again hold a haunted house at the former Washington School on Eighth Street. The haunted house will be open on Oct. 16-17, 23-24, after the Lions Club Halloween Parade on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30-31.
She said that volunteers are needed both for building the haunted house and for staffing it.
 

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