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City Testing The Water On 'Option 2' Plan For Pool

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By Joe Foreman, Editor

The Glenwood City Council has given city administrator Brian Kissel the green light to finalize the details of an “Option 2” funding plan for a $4.7 million aquatic center on property adjacent to Glenwood Community High School.

In May, Glenwood residents failed to pass a bond issue for construction of the facility. The measure received the approval of 52 percent of voters, but 60 percent was needed for passage.

Kissel said the “Option 2” scenario would not require passage of a bond issue and would not result in a property tax increase for Glenwood residents.

The complete $4.7 million aquatic center plan would remain in place, but funding for construction would come from a combination of Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) revenue, private donations and grants and $650,000 the city already has set aside for the project.

The LOST dollars would cover the cost of the project minus the “Lazy River,” which would be funded from the donations and grants.

Kissel said the Lazy River adds $800,000 to the cost of the project, leaving the LOST dollars and $650,000 already in place to cover $3.9 million.

The city currently receives around $370,000 in LOST revenue annually from sources inside and outside the city limits. The plan includes refinancing the remaining seven years of debt on the Mills County YMCA. Kissel said the LOST revenue is more than enough to cover general obligation Local Option Sales Tax bond debt over 20 years and “backstop” dollars that may be needed to meet operational shortfalls at the facility.

Kissel confirmed Monday the city has received a commitment from the Charles E. Lakin Foundation for a $450,000 grant that would be put toward the $800,000 needed for the Lazy River.

Kissel said the Option 2 plan is being finalized with consultation from the city’s bonding attorney and financial planners. A public hearing will have to take place before the plan can move forward.

“This is the plan, but the council wants to hear back from the community before going forward,” Kissel said.

Kissel said he expects the public hearing to take place this summer. If the Option 2 plan is approved by the city council, construction would likely begin in March 2015.