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LCSD No. 1 and city move forward

Posted: Friday, Feb 22nd, 2013

DIAMONDVILLE — Plans for a recently proposed athletic facility, a potential joint venture between LCSD No. 1 and the city of Kemmerer, are well under way after a Tuesday, Feb. 12, school board workshop that included Kemmerer city administrator Rebecca Davidson, mayor Zem Hopkins, and councilmembers Brian Burg and Kelly Blue.

One of the evening’s goals was for both parties to determine if the current bid for the facility could be reduced to the mutually agreed upon $2.8 million price tag.

Athletic director Shawn Rogers reported to the board about a meeting he’d had with representatives from a Colorado contracting company after a review of the facility’s proposed new location. Rogers told the board and Kemmerer representatives that the contractor had expressed confidence that the bid price on the table was on the high side and that there were ways to bring the overall cost down.

Both parties’ focus now is whether or not to push forward with the project. According to the group, a soil sample at the proposed location is necessary to get a firm bid price. If the project is to be completed by the fall of 2013 — the school district’s goal — work must start no later than May.

Those present attempted to decide to agree to go ahead with the intergovernmental agreement between the two agencies to fund this project.

“Do you want to go forward? The money is number one. What you have is a fairly firm figure and we’ve talked a number we won’t go past,” said Hopkins, who is also a LCSD No. 1 teacher. “We can borrow a million as our contribution. The issue is about paying that back — can we meet those payments regularly?”

“We’re into it at this point about ten thousand,” said LCSD No. 1 superintendent Teresa Chaulk of the financial investment to date. “I say, let’s go forward and do the soil sample. I can have it ordered tomorrow.”

City administrator Rebecca Davidson agreed that there was no way to move forward without the sample.

Board member Brenda McGinnis expressed some concern about project funding. Earlier in the meeting, Davidson had explained to those present how the city could fund its portion.

“The question is, we thought we could get this loan, not because we have money running around — we don’t. We could utilize what we saw available out of [Frontier] Parks and Recreation to cover as payback,” explained Davidson.

“I feel that we’ve skipped something here? Have we talked to the other entities that are funded by the Frontier Park and Recreation funds? Are they OK that there will be no additional money for at least ten years?” McGinnis later asked.

Chaulk replied by indicating that she would contact Opal’s mayor, Mary Hall, and Diamondville’s mayor, Eric Backman, within the next several days to inform them that all the Frontier Park and Recreation funds would be tied up for the next ten years.

“In terms of priority from the city’s perspective, I’ve looked ahead and see nothing that trumps this. We need to do more for economic development; this stadium lends more credibility to the school and this area and will bring more people in here,” said Davidson. “We need to sell this as a school [and] community project.”

The meeting concluded with the agreement that Davidson and Chaulk would schedule a four-way telephone conference with each other and each entities’ attorneys to verify the legality of the proposed intergovernmental contract.

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