By David Hotle, The JOURNAL
Recently the Washington City Council agreed to set a public hearing on a purchase agreement with DeLong Construction, which Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson explained was really a contribution by the company to the city.
During the Feb. 13 meeting, the council unanimously approved the agreement for DeLong Construction to do grading work on the proposed Wellness Park. Hinson said the agreement was a mechanism to a ?very significant donation? to the project. He said the donation was in terms of in-kind site work.
?We are still getting the details in order, but it could extend to pipe work as well,? Hinson said. ?It would be a significant donation in that regard as well.?
He said that the public hearing would be held at the March 6 meeting.
Mayor Jaron Rosien called the donation an ?awesome opportunity to move the project forward successfully.?
The projected cost of phase 1 of the project is about $2.2 million.
Since the design phase began on the Wellness Park, to be constructed on 46 acres along Fifth Street and North D Avenue, the public has been asked for input into the project. Recently the council approved moving ahead with the final designs.
In December 2016, the council had indicated it wanted to move ahead with the project and leave $1 million in this year?s budget to be spent on the park.
The city sold about 5 acres of land on the proposed Wellness Park to the Y to be used for the construction of a new building. After the failure of a bond referendum to help fund the building, the YMCA announced in May it plans to collect funding for a new $9 million facility to be constructed at West Fifth Street and North D Avenue as well as future expansions. The Washington City Council also approved partnering with the YMCA of Washington County to seek a mutual grant from Enhance Iowa to benefit both the Y?s building project and the construction of the proposed Wellness Park.
During discussions, council member Steve Gault said many of the initial cost estimates seemed too high.
While he didn?t object to the final design work, he said proposals given for the construction materials were higher than he knew they cost.
Gault had said there would be some places he would put a ?screaming halt? to the expenses.