Fairbury Receives a $370,000 Grant for Pool

BY SHAUN FRIEDRICHSEN | fairburynewsnow.com

Kyle McCawley, the Larkin Aquatics engineer designing the new Fairbury Aquatics Center.

During Tuesday’s City Council Meeting, council members agreed to allow Fairbury Mayor Homer Ward to sign an agreement with Larkin Aquatics to move forward with the pool project. They were also informed that they received a grant totaling $375,000.

Kyle McCawley, Project Manager with Larkin Aquatics, explained that they have a plan to move forward with the pool project and to have the pool open for the regular season in 2019 after a 10 to 12 month construction term. The design agreement signed by Mayor Ward includes public engagement about the website, from hosting town hall meetings to developing a website to keep people up to date on the state of the project. The fee for the design and oversight of the project totals $217,000.

According to Fairbury City Administrator Collin Bielser, the $217,000 includes 20 construction site visits from Larkin Aquatics. Each additional visit would cost the city an additional $1,500.
McCawley stated that they are excited to begin this project to help the city get a new pool. He is looking forward to meeting with the public to discuss their needs for a new pool. He asked the council members to develop a project budget that will be used to develop the preliminary design of the pool. He hopes to present a preliminary design to the city council in October or November and plans put out a call for bids for the project in February or March of 2018. Councilman Roger Bailey asked McCawly if they will lose the pool for a season.

“It’s about a 10 month period,” said McCawley. “One advantage by the schedule that we laid out is the project will be out for pool contractors relatively early for pool contractors so they could start construction as soon as we’re ready to drain and demolish the existing pool. If that’s during the summer months, the bids tend to be more favorable because it’s a better time to construct. The sooner we can get it started in summer time or spring time, the better pricing and the better we would be on schedule to get it in the city’s hand well before memorial day of ‘19 so they can learn the systems.”

McCawley explained that the council can decide to wait on construction until the 2018 pool season ends, but that it would potentially drive up costs, though, he noted, it is common for cities to do.
During the meeting, Bielser announced that the city received a grant for $375,000 to help with the cost of the pool.

“The pool committee and the council is trying to be responsible with this project,” Bielser said. “The State of Nebraska Department of Economic Development does have a fund called the Civic and Community Center Financing Fund that can be used to construct and improve facilities like libraries and including pools. We did apply for, and we were successful at receiving the grant. We received the maximum amount available from the fund which was $375,000.”

The Fairbury City Council is required to use the grant funds within two years. They agreed unanimously to allow Mayor Ward to sign the grant agreement.