The Park Board took no action during its meeting Thursday, but members discussed two big upcoming projects: Vermont Park and a community center.
The board approved an almost $900,000 renovation project for Vermont Park earlier this year and Parks and Recreation Director Mark Hewett said he expects the board to vote on bids at the July meeting.
“In late May bids will go out and by the July meeting we’ll select bids and hopefully they’ll start construction in late July,” he told the Democrat after the meeting. “There will be a lot of dirt work, work on the ditch, this year and hopefully if they make good progress I think it will be done by June or July 2017.”
The Park Board’s presentation to the Sedalia City Council regarding a proposed community center has been pushed back to 6 p.m. June 13. Hewett said during that work session he will present the plan and ideas as they stand at that point and see if council wants the Park Board to proceed with the project and gathering specific plans.
Hewett said nothing has changed since the last Park Board meeting, but he hopes to get an updated concept plan in the next week, noting it is still a “work in progress.” He told the board he has been meeting with Finance Director Kelvin Shaw to go over possible funding options and a proposed budget and that both he and Shaw think it is a “doable” project for the city.
“We want to take them a plan we think will work and we wanted to get a very solid plan that will take care of itself over the long haul,” Hewett said. “The last thing we want to do, I told the mayor and city administrator this thing is going to go way past our terms. We want to make sure we don’t saddle some future park board or future council with any kind of burden, so we want to do this of course, but we want to do it right. We want to make sure we’re on solid ground and the information I’m going to show council I think shows that we will be.”
Hewett also went over the Parks and Recreation Department’s year-end financial review. The Liberty Stadium turf project was not originally budgeted for Fiscal Year 2015-16, but despite adding a $311,000 project the department ended the year spending only $83,000 from reserve funding. Higher-than-expected revenues and sales tax revenues helped offset the cost of the turf project.
Members Chris Stewart, Rhiannon Foster and Kristy Woolery were absent.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.