In a special workshop meeting last week, the Cherokee City Council explored ways to reduce the estimated $500,000 costs of constructing a new Yacht Club facility and a new Maintenance Shop building in Koser Spring Lake Park.
After input from a handful of citizens at an August 23 Public Hearing, the Cherokee City Council voted unanimously to move forward with plans to issue an estimated $500,000 General Obligation Bond to finance a new Yacht Club and Maintenance Building in Koser Spring Lake Park.
According to the City, the facilities would be built in the Spring 2012. The Council will hold another Public Hearing Tuesday night to arrange financing for the projects that would not add to residents' property tax debt due to ongoing retiring past debt.
An ad hoc study committee of City Administrator Eikmeier, Mayor Mark Murphy, and Councilmembers Dan Morrow and Mick Mallory met in early August with City Parks Superintendent Duane Mummert to review Mummert's plans for replacement of the aged Yacht Club and the Park Maintenance Shop and Garage that were damaged by the 2010 flooding in Cherokee.
The Council had previously inspected the flood-damaged buildings and concluded that the Yacht Club and Maintenance Shop and Garage be replaced with similar structures, but relocated in the Park to eliminate or at least minimize the potential of future flooding.
According to preliminary plans reviewed by the City, the new Yacht Club would be a 42X42 structure with a 14X36 screened patio located on the site of the existing main picnic shelter on the west side of the lake. Based on preliminary estimates, that building would cost about $300,000.
The floor plan of the proposed new Yacht club is similar to the existing building and would feature a main meeting room connected to the enclosed porch area, a warming/serving kitchen, two handicapped accessible restrooms, and a utility room. The facility would be heated and air conditioned for year-around usage.
The proposed Maintenance building would be a 40X60 structure with three overhead doors, with additional storage space built overhead above the office and restroom area. The site recommended for the building is the east side of the lake southwest of the existing well building. Estimated cost for this structure is $140,000.
According to Eikmeier, FEMA dollars for flood damages to the facilities ended up being just a fraction of the replacement costs, despite his negotiations and pleas with FEMA. Factoring in to the scant settlement was the fact the City had not carried flood insurance for the buildings in question.
Total FEMA and State payments for the Yacht Club were $14,570.90; and $10,824.93 for the Maintenance buildings.
At late week's special meeting, the Council met with architect Rick Dean of Cannon, Moss, Brygger & Associates of Spencer, who's participating in the engineering and design of the proposed buildings.
Dean explained that because the yacht club and park maintenance buildings are estimated to cost over $100,000 each, the projects must be publicly bid. A public bid requires plans and specifications.
Dean also advised the Council that the earliest the projects could be bid would be January or February. He said this timing fits well with contractors who prefer bidding jobs in winter for work line up whenever Spring weather would allow. This offers the best bid prices, maintained Dean.
Dean will take the Council's recommendations from last week's meeting and produce revised plans within the next 30 days.
Dean emphasized to the Council that there are just two ways to reduce building costs - quantity (size) and quality (materials).
The Council repeatedly questioned the estimated $300,000 costs for the new Yacht Club.
"I don't understand that $300,000 price for the Yacht Club," said Councilmember Linda Burkhart. "For $300,000, that's a heckuva nice house."
Dean said the Yacht Club estimates reflect a residential square foot cost of between $125-$140 per square foot "because of the type of building it is."
The preliminary cost estimates ($300,000) for the Yacht Club include the removal of the existing open shelter; new water/sewer/electricity to the site; remove/relocate screened porch from existing Yacht Club; convert screened porch to 3-season room; 10% contingencies; and architect fees. It will have a steel roof, the Council agreed on.
Dean recommends cement board siding for the Yacht Club, even though a local builder and others have questioned the product's integrity and the validity of supplier warranties.
Dean said the current product has been improved by better technology and cement board is today widely accepted and frequently used as a high-quality product with many benefits.
The proposed Maintenance Building will be wood-framed with a steel roof, and also has cement board siding as one of the options.