City hires architect on rec repairs
Iola will pay the architectural firm advising USD 257 with its ongoing bond referendum $3,000 to help map out repairs to the flood-damaged Recreation Community Building at Riverside Park.
Mayor Jon Wells cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of hiring Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey Architecture of Wichita after City Council members were deadlocked, 3-3, on whether to offer the contract.
The rec building has been closed to the public since floodwaters inundated the building Oct. 9.
The city’s insurance coverage policy through the Federal Emergency Management Agency — set up following the 2007 flood — brought the city a $297,000 settlement.
City officials are considering several options to replace the building’s flooring, which took the brunt of the damage.
The aim, according to Assistant Administrator City of Iola Cory Schinstock, is to find a safe, durable surface that would not need to be replaced in case of future flooding.
“It’s not a matter of if, but when, we’ll get water in that building again,” Schinstock said.
The gymnasium floor was covered with a vinyl surface, purported to be waterproof. However, the foam padding beneath it was not.
“Once it gets wet, it’s impossible to dry out,” Schinstock said.
The city has visited with several contractors about flooring types, but Schinstock said he and City Administrator Sid Fleming both thought it would be wise to also visit with an architect, “to see what we could do with the building.”
The contract will pay SJCF for 20 hours of labor, at $100 per hour, plus two site visits worth $500 apiece.
Any additional work would be billed at $95 per hour.
Councilwoman Nancy Ford, one of the three voting against hiring SJCF, spoke out against the $500 on-site visits.
“These rates are very reasonable for an architect,” Councilman Aaron Franklin responded.
Councilman Ron Ballard, another “no” vote, asked whether the city needed to hire an architect at all.
Ford and Ballard were joined by Mark Peters in opposition. Franklin, Gene Myrick and Kim Peterson were in favor, sending the 3-3 vote to Wells.
“That’s on me now,” Wells quickly responded. “I vote yes.”
Council members Danny Mathew and Chase Martin were absent.
THE COUNCIL also:
— Approved a one-year contract with Poor Boy Tree Service, Inc., for Iola’s annual tree-trimming projects at $94.79 per hour. Poor Boy was the only company that responded to a bid proposal from the city. The $94.79 rate would equate to $33,176 if the company worked 350 hours this year on tree trimming, Schinstock noted. The city budgeted $55,000 for such services this year.
— Approved a road use agreement with Veterans Worldwide Sales & Service LLC to allow the company access to Iola’s city streets while it takes over with soil remediation work around town. Veterans Worldwide has been hired by the Environmental Protection Agency to take over the next phase of clearing lead-contaminated soil from residences.
— Heard several requests from the Farm-City Days Committee regarding the committee’s summer concert July 13, featuring country music artist Darryl Worley. The group is seeking to host the concert in the fairgrounds parking lot at Riverside Park. Formal approval is expected in February.