Pool goes to bid
County to test the waters to see how far dollars will go
By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
Morgan County commissioners agreed at their regular meeting Tuesday to advertise for bids for the construction of an aquatics facility in Madison.
“I think we need to just put this out there, and get an idea of whether the money that we have allocated for this project is realistic,” said County Manager Michael Lamar.
“If it’s not realistic, then what? Because there isn’t any more money available from SPLOST,” said Commission Chairman Mack Bohlen.
County residents approved a Special Local Option Sales Tax in 2006 that would provide, among other monies, $800,000 for a county swimming pool.
But cost estimates for the water park that the recreation department would like to construct, which includes a 12-month pool, a recreational pool, a lazy river and a splash-play area, have ranged so far from $3 million to $4 million dollars. The recreation department has set aside some money of its own for the project.
“I would expect that it would be incumbent upon the recreation department to come up with the difference,” said Lamar.
The recreation department has, in the past, discussed the possibility of fundraising for the facility.
The request for proposals is expected to appear in the ‘Morgan County Citizen’ in the coming weeks.
In other county news, commissioners voted to approve expenditures of equipment for county volunteer firefighters for up to $201,000, the amount left in accounts from the SPLOST initiative approved by voters in 2001.
County fire chief Jerry Couch has been charged with prioritizing the needs of the county departments so that the money can be expended on needed equipment. In addition, each county fire department is authorized to spend the remaining funds in respective $5,000 annual line item budgets as well.
The county also approved the printing costs for its upcoming “cemetery book,” which will include a listing of every cemetery known in the county—as of the production date of the book—as well as photographs, GPS data, and names and locations. More than 200 cemeteries were located over the past two years by county officials and interns; so much data was collected that the county has elected to publish it in book form. The 600-page book will be printed later this year and be sold through the county planning office for approximately $20-$25, in order to partially recoup printing costs of $6,000 for 500 copies.