Last Tuesday, City Administrator Jeff Hancock spoke in a cautious tone about the project the city had pursued in 2008 and that had regained steam in prior years when a property on N. Business Route 5 was purchased and excavated.

Camdenton officials concerned with two consecutive months of declining sales tax revenue are considering putting the proposed community center project on hold until past 2018.

Last Tuesday, City Administrator Jeff Hancock spoke in a cautious tone about the project the city had pursued in 2008 and that had regained steam in prior years when a property on N. Business Route 5 was purchased and excavated.

Over the last half-decade the city has set aside approximately *$1.4 million for the project, but now it appears to be considering if that money would be better saved. According to City Clerk Renée Kingston, the city reported a 4.56-percent decrease in actual sales tax receipts for October and November compared to the last fiscal year.

City officials, including Hancock, Mayor John McNabb and Parks Director Larry Bennett, recently met with the firm of Ballard King — which specializes in recreation, leisure demand and partnership studies — on the possibility of conducting a market feasibility study.

Hancock recommended the board engage the firm at a cost of approximately $3,000 to $6,000 to conduct the study while the city monitors sales tax revenues for December, which completes the first quarter of the new fiscal year.

At that time, Hancock said, the city will decide on whether to continue the project in 2018 or postpone to a later date.

Background

The city announced in December 2015 a contract with Sanvid Investments for the purchase of approximately 3.1 acres located at the intersection of N. Business Route 5 and Ball Park Rd. to be used for the construction of a future community center.

Before the project could be bid out, the city had to undergo asbestos testing on the building which came back as less than dangerous levels, but nonetheless delayed the sale of the property and further construction. The city moved forward with the bid process in the first week of December 2016.

The former owner of the old bowling alley, Zodiac Lanes, also at the location, agreed to demolish the building as per an agreement with the City of Camdenton. The total cost of the purchase and demolition was $290,000. The Glenn Block building was not included in that contract contingency, and the city bid out the demolition separately, receiving bids on Dec. 20, 2016, for the project.

A-Team Excavating received the the lowest bid at $20,500 out of eight bids and the contract was approved at the Jan. 17, 2017, meeting. The contract included tree and brush clearing from the location as well as complete demolition.

Camdenton Board of Aldermen provided a notice to proceed in February of 2017 to A-Team Excavating for the demolition of the former Glen Block building. There is also a small maintenance shed at the site that the city intends to use for storage of equipment and maintenance purposes.

The firm RDG Planning and Design, which worked on the update of the city’s comprehensive plan, noted that the site is ideal for not only the construction of the community center but also as a foundation for future development of the North Business 5 corridor.

Survey information gathered by RDG through the Destination Camdenton master planning process noted interest from residents, among other items, that the new community center include meeting rooms, walking/running tracks and other recreational activities.

*Original article incorrectly listed the available community center funds as $4-million instead of $1.4-million. The city intends to continue saving the money, not spend elsewhere as initial article implied.