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Committee hopes to cut pool costs to under $1 million...

What started out loosely at $7.26 million for a new community pool in Kenmare, has been chiseled down to just under $1 million.

3/20/18 (Tue)

What started out loosely at $7.26 million for a new community pool in Kenmare, has been chiseled down to just under $1 million.

But it still isn’t enough, according to two members of a committee tasked with presenting ideas to the city council.

The committee met Tuesday (March 13) with 10 people in attendance and discussed its latest versions of what the pool should look like and how it should function in the future.

Ackerman-Estvold Engineering provided an estimate of what it expects a renovation of the pool and splash pad will cost. Committee members were lukewarm to the idea of spending $1.75 million on the low end to $2.03 million on the high end.

“We’re still whittling down the numbers,” said pool committee chairman Jeff Shobe. “Nothing has been set in stone yet.”

As it turns out, the costs have changed a great deal, as have the plans, but Shobe is satisfied the committee will eventually reach a compromise.

Instead of a new pool with all the bells and whistles for $7 million plus, the general consensus is to repair what is already in place, which not only cut the cost way down, but could offer a shorter construction time.

“We’re going to try and fix what we’ve got,” Shobe said. “We have another meeting on April 17.”

Jamie Livingston, a Kenmare City Council representative on the pool committee, said he believes the committee can still cut the costs down considerably.

“We want to try to keep the existing building,” he said. “Our goal is to save the building.”

Ackerman-Estvold’s cost for a new bathhouse is in a range from $760,000 to $830,000. Livingston is hoping it can be saved, which would drop the construction cost considerably.

He did say, however, that select cinder blocks on two walls have been damaged from water erosion and may be too weak to repair.

“The structural integrity of the bathhouse is in question,” Livingston said. “If we can keep the bathhouse, all we’d need is a boiler and filtration system and maybe we could pump concrete up from the bottom to lift the corners of the building to stabilize it.

But Livingston isn’t certain that’s going to happen so he’s holding his judgment on exactly how much money can be saved on the project.

“We should have an idea for our April committee meeting,” he said. “We expect to present to city council at the May meeting and we should discuss funding at the April council meeting.”

Specifically, the estimates for the pool improvements used by Ackerman-Estvold, came from a Bismarck company called Associated Pool Builders Inc.

Ackerman-Estvold Engineer Aaron Fornshell told the committee on Tuesday that Associated would be one of three companies that would most likely bid on the project.

Pool improvements listed at $605,000 are as follows: concrete deck replacement, $150,000, pool liner and recirculating system improvements, $150,000, pool deck improvements, $20,000, wading pool improvements, $150,000 and mechanical equipment improvements, $135,000.

Livingston added that in order to cut the expense even further, any work done on the adjacent park will be volunteer labor.

“We want to focus on the pool and improvement to the park would be donated labor,” Livingston said. “We want to tackle that first.”

Ironically, the pool, which currently operates at a deficit of $30,000-$40,000 annually, won’t see much in the way of new revenue generation when construction is completed.

“A new revenue generator might be a kiddie pool area with some splash pad elements,” he said. “Nothing will change with the pool itself.”

Like Shobe, Livingston was reluctant to provide any final numbers as he said there are just too many what ifs at this point.

As far as a time line for construction, if the bathhouse can be saved, according to Livingston, there would be a later start time in 2019 with work beginning this fall.

If the bathhouse has to be replaced, the pool will be off limits for an entire season.

“I think we’re doing our due diligence to have something pallatable,” Livingston said. “But it will still serve the community based on the surveys we’ve received.”

Shobe said he would like to start construction in 2019, but he isn’t willing to commit because of a number of variables including fund raising.

“We’re still trying to get something to the council,” he said. “We started with some high numbers and we’re trying to get them narrowed.” ... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!