Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Grandview Aldermen Discuss Aquatic and Athletic Facilities

By Mary Wilson
The City of Grandview hired consultants to perform a feasibility study for aquatic facilities to assist Parks and Recreation with decision making regarding the feasibility of either renovating the existing outdoor Meadowmere swimming pool or building a new outdoor aquatic facility. The consultant team of Confluence, PROS Consulting and Waters Edge Aquatic Design worked closely with city leadership and staff to evaluate the current condition and desired future aquatic programming and facilities. In addition, ETC Institute conducted a community survey to provide insight into the attitude of residents toward the city’s current aquatic facilities.
The City also had the same consultants perform a study regarding the feasibility of renovating the existing outdoor athletic complexes and building a new athletic complex near Meadowmere Park.
At the December 18 Board of Aldermen work session, representatives from Confluence gave a brief overview to give an understanding of the purpose of the studies, which was to determine the outdoor aquatic and athletic field facilities.
According to Terry Berkbuegler of Confluence, the results showed that Grandview should develop aquatic facilities that enhance the quality of life in Grandview. The plans included promoting a community pool with enhanced features to attract more patrons. The final results of the study indicated that it would be financially feasible to operate a new outdoor aquatic facility in Grandview at the Meadowmere Park site, assuming all capital funding required to demolish the existing swimming pool and construct the new facility will come from sources other than operational revenues for the facility.
“The success of a new aquatic facility will depend on how the City programs, prices and operations of the facility work,” said Berkbuegler.
The Board made no final decisions on moving forward with the plans presented, and most members stated their concern that the findings of the study were based on predictions and not based on concrete evidence.
The feasibility study for athletic field facilities indicated that the proposed new athletic complex has the potential to operate at a 58% cost recovery in years one and two of operation and at a 70% cost recovery rate beginning in year three, if programmed and managed according to the assumptions in the study. The recommendation given is to leave the existing facilities, and don’t spend capital to improve what is currently there.
“We think it makes more sense to invest in developing a new facility that meets the desires and needs of the community across from Meadowmere Park,” said Berkbuegler. “The study does not calculate the potential of additional sales and tourism tax dollars that would result from out-of-town users. We spent a day out here this past year meeting with different groups and stake holders in order to get an understanding of their desires or needs. The public input meetings gave good input on athletics, and gave us good insight into what Grandview citizens want.”
The plans included four state-of-the-art baseball diamonds, along with soccer fields. After discussion, the Board asked the consultants to bring further information regarding artificial turf versus lawn turf, and whether or not to go with soccer fields for now, and add baseball later.
“If we can add these soccer fields on this side of the state line, we will be able to hold large regional tournaments right here in Grandview,” said Mayor Steve Dennis. “I don’t know if there are any other field turf soccer fields at all in the KC Metro area on the Missouri side.”
Other board members were in agreement, and ultimately decided that more research needed to be done before they can come to a final decision on how to proceed.
The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) has asked the City of Grandview to partner with them in the Solar Ready KC initiative. The goal of the challenge is to achieve measurable improvements in the market conditions for rooftop photovoltaics (PV) across the United States, with emphasis on streamlined and standardized permitting and interconnection processes.
The Board approved the partnership with MARC, and has joined the Cities of Kansas City, Lee’s Summit and Olathe.
The Jackson County Health Department approached The View to use the facility as a secondary site in Grandview for dispensing medication or shots to large numbers of the public. Currently, Grandview High School is the primary site, and the federal government is now requiring two sites. The City approved this measure.

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