Oskaloosa officials say pool will open next year
by Dennis Sharkey
City officials were not being coy last week when talking about the prospects of the swimming pool opening next year.
During a discussion about the pool Mayor Mike Boyd said that city leaders came to a consensus the previous week during a special called meeting to discuss the budget.
However, a definite plan and what an open pool will look like are still on the table needing answers. Boyd said the picture should become more clear at the next meeting Aug. 4 when a draft of the budget will be presented. Boyd said some parts of the pool may not be completed by next year but the main pool would open.
“If we can repair the pool on our budget maybe we can improve the baby pool on donations,” Boyd said while tossing out ideas. “The biggest thing is to see how the budget will come out.”
Councilman Greg Rockhold said the city should start setting some definite dates at that point.
“We need to decide what we’re going to do and put a date on it,” Rockhold said.
City Superintendent Bill Heard said he has walked four contractors through the pool situation and has gotten ideas but also agreed with Rockhold about a time line.
He said all the contractors stressed that springtime is the busy rush season to get work completed. No contractor gave a deadline for having a contract in hand to guarantee a spring completion but said the sooner the better.
Heard also cautioned that some estimates the city got last year to rehab the pool may be greatly inflated this year because of increased cost. However, he also said the technology for swimming pool surfaces has risen and is more expensive but of better quality.
Contractors will be invited to the next council meeting to answer questions. The council indicated that they would like to advertise for bid soon after the next meeting.
The city has also invited the accounting firm that conducts the city’s audits to the next meeting to present a preliminary budget proposal for 2012.
The council is once again looking to upgrade their accounting software to a product designed for governmental entities. Councilman Mike Paavola said he spoke with a local certified public accountant recently who suggested the city move in that direction.
A recent bid on a software that the city of McLouth and the county uses was more than $17,000.
“He said to do it right that’s the only way you’re going to do it,” Paavola said. “I didn’t hear what I was hoping to hear.”
Paavola indicated that a CPA would play a role in checking the city books on a regular basis.
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