The new Aquatic Center in TPA Park is now looking at a delay.
Hoping to get an additional appropriation passed on all three readings, the Frankfort City Council failed to get the needed unanimous vote needed Monday night thus delaying the project for an undisclosed amount of time.
“The goal tonight was to get an additional appropriation out of city general which would be reimbursed once bonds are issued next year so that we could carry out construction drawings for the new Aquatic Center at TPA Park so that we can get that project ready to go out to bid January 1,” said Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes. “It’s very, very important that we stick to that timeline if we want our Aquatic Center to open up in 2021.
“Thanks to the action of one councilman, Councilman (Lewis) Wheeler, voted against suspending the rules to pass on all three readings. That means the project will be delayed.”
The council vote was 5-1.
How long of a delay is up in the air.
“We lose out on close to a month now that we could be generating construction drawings,” added McBarnes. “Who knows? Something like this could push us into the latter part of 2021. If we get bad weather in 2021, it could push it into 2022.”
Wheeler said he was not comfortable doing this basically because he couldn’t discuss it with his constituents. His vote forces the Council to go to a second reading of the ordinance at its next meeting on September 23.
The current cost of the Aquatic Center is $8.7 million.
Last week, the city announced there will be a delay in the opening of Prairie Creek Park which means two festivals planned in October for the park will now have to be moved. The Frankfort Hispanic Heritage Festival will now be held at Veterans Park on Saturday, October 5, and Oktoberfest will be held Saturday, October 12, in the Prairie Creek Park block area.
“AT&T, Comcast and Vectren all had to go in and move lines,” said McBarnes. “These are private corporations that move at their own speed. It took these corporations two additional months than we thought it was going to take to move the lines.”
That wasn’t the only problem.
“We ran into many unforeseen site conditions,” said McBarnes. “We’ve had to do a lot of additional excavation and we’ve done it all within budget.”
Of course with delays comes the question of additional costs.
“We are within our budget,” said McBarnes. “We just lose two months. The park is forecast to be done in the middle park of November or the first part of December. It will cost no more money.”