Pavilion moves forward

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter

The Aledo City Council moved a step closer to putting up its Central Park pavilion Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, by agreeing to hire Kelly & Associates, Moline to put bid specifications together for the structure. After much discussion about the $20,800 price tag put forth by Alderman Doyce Hiscocks to pay the architectural firm, the council voted 4-3 to move forward with the project to get it to the bid opening stage.

Hiscocks asked that the pavilion specs include some modifications, for alternate bids that might cut the costs.

Both Aldermen Rich Maynard and Robert Rillie argued for reevaluating the budget for the needed pavilion, with Alderman Randy Mattson adding his two cents worth saying, "none of my constituents want to spend that kind of money," referring to a $250,000-$275,000 price tag that has been bandied about on the possible cost of the new structure.

"We're probably going to see bids at that level," said Maynard.

Alderman Mike Frye said that an eight to 10 percent fee is usually charged by the architect hired to oversee a project.

Maynard again brought up using other types of buildings he had researched on the Internet.

Frye argued that while the building cost of $25,000 was lower on the surface, the cost did not include such things as the survey, soil boring, landscaping, masonry, moving utilities and the cost of exterior concrete.

"What you're looking at is a shade and shelter building," said Frye.

Mayor Lee Celske pointed out that the council may be surprised when the bids are opened. "There are a lot of people looking for work. This is the best time I think for bids."

Voting in favor of hiring Kelly & Associates were Aldermen Frye, Hiscocks, Dale Jones and Marc Dicklin. Voting "no" were Aldermen Maynard, Rillie and Mattson. Alderman Chris Hagloch abstained.

Another Tax Increment Financing issue approved Monday night was a proposal by Earl Etheridge for a $25,600 grant to erect a storage shed for his business at 202 SE 6th Ave. He also plans to introduce a storage pod rental business at that site.

The estimated cost of bringing in this business is $124,925. Alderman Hiscocks said the city's obligation was less than 25 percent, which is a decrease from the original $42,810 proposal Etheridge brought before the council in mid December 2008.

Hiscocks pointed out that the project would eliminate a blighted area and increase the value of the property, to raise property taxes.

"It's going to clean up a lot that needs to be cleaned up," said Alderman Jones.

Alderman Rillie still groused over the amount. "I still think the money amount is too high," adding that he would agree to give a grant for demolition and site preparation, suggesting the remainder could be given as a loan.

On a 5-2 vote the grant was approved with "yes" votes from Aldermen Maynard, Dicklin, Frye, Hiscocks and Jones. "No" votes came from Aldermen Mattson and Rillie. Hagloch abstained.

For more on this story, see the Feb. 11, 2009 issue of The Times Record.