by Richard Uhlhorn
Chelan City Council held a workshop on Tuesday afternoon, April 6 to go over the City’s Draft Housing Action Plan and a ParksMaintenanceBuildingdiscussion which included the proposed building feasibility presentation.
In addition, Ben Williams, president of the Seven Acres Foundation, requested City support for a $900,000 Community Project Funding Grant for projects and activities that have a direct impact on Washington’s 8th Congressional District.
Williams told the Council that the foundation is eligible for a community enhancement grant that has two requirements… that the project is rural and has broad based support of the community.
Williams reported that Seven Acres has made progress over the past year with a number of grants looking favorable. “We need to submit this application by tomorrow,” said Williams. He requested a letter of endorsement for the project from the City. “It’s a $900,000 opportunity through Kim Schrier’s office.” He added that dirt work was continuing and that the foundation plans on starting construction by this coming Fall.
Councilman Peter Jamtgaard made the motion to support the effort and said, “You guys are lucky that you have all your ducks in a row with Schrier’s office.” The council was unanimous in endorsing the Community Center.
The Council heard a presentation on the new proposed Parks Maintenance Building that has been on the books since 2017. “It’s something that visitors see when they arrive and can be their first impression of Chelan,” said Parks Director Paul Horne. “We want any public building to show our pride.”
Architect Graham Baba put together proposed size, city needs and potential interface with the public. He introduced Jason Henry, a landscape architect, who stated that it was important to make sure the completed work would last 50 years. After looking at three potential sites at Don Morse Park the decision was made to keep the maintenance footprint where it currently is. “We did a 50 year plan,” said Henry.
They broke the major elements and explored some public amenities like public restrooms as a future phase.
The current plan includes screening of the maintenance building, an increase of 22 parking stalls and included a 32 yard trash compactor.
The developed budget came in at $272 per sq. ft. or $1,797,234 for the building and site work. “We will be tracking this all the way,” said Trish Drew, managing director of DCW Cost Management. “The market is quite volatile right now,” she added. She stated they would look to see who is able to do this kind of work which involves a pre-manufactured bulding.
“This is gong to be a managed project,” said Drew adding that mechanical and electrical are the cost drivers. Total cost for Phase One is estimated at $2,204,879.
Tim Hollingsworth remarked that the soft costs were over 15 percent of the total costs. “It that typical for this kind of project?” She replied that everything was a 7.5 percent, but when you add all the other disciplines it shoves the percentage up.
Ty Witt asked how much work the City could do and Horne replied that Jake Youngren did a lot of homework and decided that the City would run up against State Laws. Youngren added that the Public Works department tries to maximize its sweat equity, but that State law dictates what is allowed. “We can’t even be a general contractor on our own projects,” said Youngren.
Erin McCardle, who wasn’t present, sent her comments in support of the project. John Olson agreed. Mayor Goedde said it was unfortunate that it was over $2.5 million. Hollingsworth said it was time to move forward. “Everything is twice as expensive as it should be.”
Horne said that it works with a 10 year pay back as a capital investment for the City that can be used as collateral if the City ever needed to get a loan .
Mayor Goedde replied to the comment that it was a lot of money. “The State Legislature put it upon us… that’s what they done to us. We don’t have a lot of choices.” He added that the City needs to find grant writers.