Council tables discussion on the senior center project (updated)
(THE MED CITY BEAT) - The Rochester City Council decided Monday night to table a discussion on an additional $1 million for the Senior Center/Recreation Center project until after a public hearing.
Council member Michael Wojcik said he was not willing to give more money to the project using general tax resources.
"That would endanger our AAA rating and take funds that are used for police, fire, parks, road maintenance, library, and other needed services," Wojcik said on his personal blog.
Several council members suggested working with the Senior Center to come up with the money. One idea proposed was to have the center donate two downtown parking lots to the project.
"You know, there's going to be a negotiation that takes place over a million dollars," said council member Nick Campion, according to a report by KTTC-TV. "This isn't going to be just another hand out."
A public hearing on the project is scheduled for May 4.
Despite the setback with funding, the council approved Kraus-Anderson Construction's bid for the project. At $21.3 million, the company's bid was the lowest of any developer.
That cost does not include $1 million in pool materials, which will be purchased directly by the city.
Rochester voters approved $20 million in funding toward the Senior Center/Recreation Center in 2012. It was one of 10 projects that received funding under the 0.5 percent local sales tax extension.
Project leaders have struggled to keep the project under budget since then. In March 2014, the council awarded the project an additional $2.3 million using leftover funds from the sales tax.
Now, the council is being asked to provide an additional $1 million in funding to pay for escalating constructions costs.
The project includes construction of a new senior center and the renovation of the existing recreation center. The combined facility will feature a new lobby, a warm lap pool and upgraded locker rooms.
Construction could be completed as early as next summer.
(Cover graphic: City of Rochester)