BY BENJAMIN J. GOHS, EDITOR
The bids are in, and phase one of the Boyne City Veterans Park pavilion improvements have been approved at a cost the city can afford.
While the original projections for complete overhaul of the pavilion topped $750,000 in recent years, there is a new plan to initially only spend a third of that.
“After meeting with the low bidder, Bob Kroondyk, and discussing the project and possible options, the committee was very impressed with and is recommending that the city commission award a contract to accept the base bid and alternates 3 and 4 which revolve around work associated with the removal of the grills in the middle in the structure for an estimated total of $244,405.71,” Cain stated in an Aug. 29 memo to the Boyne City Commission. “The committee will be seeking additional fundraising efforts to possibly undertake alternates 1 and 2 which involve modifications to the restrooms and also efforts to reduce or eliminate some or all of the posts which currently exist that would be in the open space of the expanded structure.”
He added, “The committee hopes that progress on the project will encourage additional contributions to help complete the first phase and undertake additional phases. While the committee anticipates working towards additional phases, the project as being recommended can stand alone and will provide the community with an expanded pavilion with a greatly updated look which will tie into the new city facility project.”
Estimated work and costs which the committee recommended to be accepted include:
Aternate #3 Stoop
$3,618 for removal and patch
$44,218 for removal and new roof
“So, basically, the major expansion of the facility, the removal of the existing fireplace and patching of the roof above the fireplace,” Cain told commissioners during the meeting. “The removal of the fireplace will basically provide a lot more open space in the existing portion of the pavilion.”
He added, “Then, the pavilion will also be expanded around the south, west, and north sides of the pavilion, which will give us more spaces and will be designed in such a way that, in future phases, the building can be enclosed with garage doors, and heat can be provided.”
As reported in recent weeks by the Boyne City Gazette, the Boyne City Planning Commission OK’d a measure back in July to go forward with plans to use a phased approach at improving the pavilion in Veterans Park.
Boyne City Commissioner Hugh Conklin said he wished there was a way the bathrooms could be addressed sooner, since they are integral to the park.
Two of Kroondyk’s estimates on bathroom work were for $33,300 and $35,200 for a total of $68,500—money the city says it just doesn’t have right now.
Cain said the pavilion committee wants to look for outside moneys to help pay for things like the bathroom work before the city decides to seek funding from its own coffers.
“We’ve always done very good with regards to taking opportunities and taking our time to leverage additional moneys, and I think this is an opportunity, and I encourage the commission to go down the recommended path,” said Cain.
Boyne City Mayor Tom Neidhamer agreed the bathrooms are important but that, right now, every extra cent the city has is going toward funding the 475 North Lake St. Open Space property.
Neidhamer added that he is confident the additional improvements can be made in the future.
Kroondyk told the commission it would be more cost-effective to do the bathroom work now rather than later.
“The thing that I’m trying to communicate is that we have an opportunity to correct a problem, and Bob was just telling us there’s an advantage of doing it now, and if we wait it’s going to cost us more,” said Conklin.
He added, “I fully support moving ahead with the pavilion but I would have to vote ‘no’ on this motion.”
Cain said he fears it will be more difficult to ask for additional funding from grants and fundraising if the city says it will pay for the bathrooms without having the money to do so on the hope that the money could be raised to fund the work.
At its Tuesday Aug. 29 meeting, the Boyne City Commission to accept Kroondyk’s bid, with Conklin as the lone “no” vote.
During the meeting, Boyne City Manager Michael Cain said the pavilion committee has now raised nearly $250,000.
According to Cain, the project would begin right after Labor Day and could be completed by May 1, 2018.
“Mr. Kroondyk anticipates completing the work faster than was called for in the specifications,” Cain stated. “While the work is going on, the pavilion would not be open to the public.”