UNION — The funds budgeted for the construction of the proposed Union Events Center are more than enough to cover the cost of the project according to the chairman of the center’s board of directors.
In a presentation to Union City Council Tuesday evening, Union Events Center Board of Directors Chairman Bob Love reported that, as of June, a total of $3,231,863 are available for the project. Love said that amount includes $2,042,753 in the city account which is composed of $1,560,934 in city funds, $255,032 in Timken funds held by the city, and $226,787 in a new funding request to Timken. He said the amount also includes $1,189,110 in pledges of which $331,668 has been collected and $857,442 remain to be collected.
Love said the board has budgeted $2,529,979 for the construction of the events center.
The project was put out for bids in 2010 and five bids were submitted in April of that year, with the lowest being $2.1 million. In a workshop session with council in May of this year, Love said the board understood that the center could not be built for that amount now and was ready to rebid the project. Council agreed with the board that the project should be rebid in order to determine if the funds already collected/pledged would be sufficient or if additional funds would have to be raised.
Love said that after the meeting it was recommended to the board by its architect, David Langley, that the board seek a “takeoff bid” to determine if the project could still be done for the $2,529,979 budgeted. He said the board then went back to one of the original bidders, Kingsmore Construction, requesting it submit a takeoff bid.
The information presented by Love to council Tuesday night included a letter to the events center committee from Kingsmore Construction. The letter stated that “with no revisions to the April 2010 plans for the Events Center, we would anticipate our base bid to increase somewhere in the amount of 25%. There would be an increase around $504,922.50 which would make our new total base bid $2,524,612.50.”
Love said the takeoff bid in the letter from Kingsmore Construction is slightly less than the $2,529,979 budgeted for the construction center. By being within the amount budgeted for construction, Love said the project could proceed if council voted to do so.
Council did not vote to do so Tuesday night, but instead opted to have the board meet with them in a workshop session to discuss the $857,442 in pledges that have yet to be collected.
Love said that council wants information on how that amount would be secured until it could be collected. He said the board and council will discuss the means of securing that amount so the project could proceed while the collection process is under way.
In addition to his presentation on the events center budget, Love introduced to council Mary Anne Miller who will serve as the Interim Director of the events center project. Love said that Miller has extensive experience in event planning and fundraising. He said she will work 20 hours a week for the committee with the goal of keeping the project on track.
In other business, council voted unanimously to approve a resolution authorizing Mayor Harold Thompson to enter into an agreement to purchase a parking lot on East Academy Street.
The resolution was presented by Finance Director Walker Gallman who said that the city had been leasing the property since 1996 for $160 a month from Hunter Harris Jr. and Anna R. Harris. The lease had been renewed every three years since without an increase in the amount paid by the city.
Gallman said he’d recently been contacted by Hunter Harris III concerning the lease which expires July 31. He said that Harris is handling his father’s estate and indicated that his mother was willing to sell the property to the city. Gallman said that Harris indicated he would accept the value of the property assessed by the Union County Tax Assessor’s Office along with the city pay all closing costs and taxes due. He said the assessed value of the property is $13,500, adding that he estimated the additional costs including the cost of surveying would be $1,000.
The city will purchase the property with funds generated by the Tax Increment District.
Council also voted unanimously to make a $925 donation to the Union County Pregnancy Center.
Mayor Harold Thompson presented the proposal to council, stating that the center, which is located at 115 E. Main St., has four window units on the third floor that are in need of repair.
The presentation included a proposal and contract that listed the needed repairs including repairing the bottom sash and re-glazing the glass in two of the windows; repairing the bottom sash, replacing broken glass and glazing for the third window; and rebuilding the bottom sash, replacing broken glass, and glazing for the fourth window.
In making his presentation, Thompson pointed out that the center provides men and women with up-to-date information enabling them to make information decisions about pregnancy, sexual health, and relationships. Thompson said that all services are free of charge and all communications kept strictly confidential in accordance with the law. He said the facility relies solely on donations and government and United Way funding.
Thompson said the donation would be made out of the Council Contingency account.