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Council approves slashes to aquatics center bid, move forward with project after special session Monday

Aquatics817a.jpg

(Talk of the Town photos provided)
On Monday, during a special session, the Columbia City Common Council unanimously approved a funding package and deductions that enable the city to move forward with plans to build the Russel and Evelyn Fahl Aquatics Center. The groundbreaking ceremony for this event will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 29, rain or shine, at the former Burnworth Pool location.
Columbia City Mayor Ryan Daniel explained the outcome of Monday's decision in a video message posted on his Facebook page Monday evening, sharing the new designs which reflect the changes to the project enacted by the council. Aquatics817b.jpg
"It really went from being a luxury facility to a moderate facility," Daniel said. "It's something I believe we can all be proud of when we build this facility."
In all, the council approved slashing approximately $415,000 in line items from the bid as well as earmarked other undesignated funds and into this project, including use of Riverboat funds, Rainy Day funds and CEDIT funds.
"We had significant deductions in the projects, but nothing that takes away from the programatic element of the facility and really not much, if anything, that takes away from the fun of the facility," he said. Daniel said some of the aesthetic elements were changed dramatically, but it will still be an impressive facility.
Some of the items removed from the bid included landscaping and individual items that local residents or non-profit organizations may want to sponsor at the facility. The changes also made room for more grass-covered green space at the pool site which several council members said they felt was actually more appealing than the original plan called for.
Daniel said ground movement will begin in the coming weeks. Officials have also said that the facility could be open for public use as soon as Memorial Day 2018.

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