Richland Center City Council November 6th Meeting

A decision of moving forward with a new aquatic center in Richland Center was put on hold at the November 6th City Council meeting.

Much of the public comment section at the meeting dealt with those who wanted to express their feelings about the cost of the aquatic center and how an extra million dollars, which was what the bids for a new aquatic center exceeded the proposed budget, could best be used by the city. Mayor Mike Kaufman granted each person four minutes to speak with no rebuttals allowed. Ed Pulvermacher stated that with the extra million dollars cost to move forward, he is nervous. A new pool needs to be put into perspective. Joel Rewald stated that the council needs to focus on funding a sustainable tax base. Amber Wanless stated she supports the idea of a new pool and sees the current pool costing to much money for upkeep.

Following the public comment Dave Cameron, Senior Architect from Architectural Design Consultants, Inc. of Lake Delton, then addressed the council. He said they are continuing to look for cost savings to bring it back down to the original amount budgeted. According to Cameron, the biggest disparity was in the soft costs. The ad hoc committee has also found that costs could be saved through donations by contractors which would bring them closer to the $4.8 million allotted. However, they city can not legally negotiate with contractors until a bid is accepted.

After hearing from Cameron, the alderpersons were then granted four minutes to ask questions and speak. It was brought up by both Kathy Troxel and Travis Wertz that previous council members had already put a new pool on the agenda for 2020. Wertz also stated he is looking at the larger picture and feels an aquatic center would add value to the community. John Collins stated that the council had made a commitment for a cost and he would not vote to raise the commitment level. However, he did add that the current pool is not safe and should not be used.

The agenda for the Richland Center City Council meeting last night (Tuesday) included a recommendation to consider approval of bid for demolition of the old swimming pool and construction of the new aquatic center. It was pointed out that in order to do that a bid would have to be accepted as the cost of demolition is included in the construction bid. The council then felt they had three options: to accept the lowest bid; to reject all bids; or to put off the decision until the next council meeting November 20th. The city has until November 26th to accept or deny the bids. A motion was made and approved to table the decision until the 20th.

In other action at the November 6th Richland Center City Council meeting the council approved a resolution authorizing the issuance and sale of $509,000 sewerage system mortgage revenue bonds of the City of Richland Center and providing for the payment of the bonds and other details with respect to bonds.

The council also approved a request of the A.D. German Warehouse Conservancy to replace a section of sidewalk along Church Street in front of the warehouse with marked pavers listing those who make donations at no cost to the city; to move the Tourism Coordinator from the Municipal Building to the Depot; and a temporary Class B beer and Class B wine picnic license application was approved for the Richland Center Performing Arts Council for “An Irish Christmas” concert December 14th at the Richland County Performing Arts Center - City Auditorium.