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City Awarded Grant to Help Construct Outdoor Fitness Court At Pacific Park

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Stock Donated To Help Fund Senior Citizens Center Project

Sulphur Springs officials this week reported both good and bad news regarding the planned senior citizens center project, and good news regarding the Pacific Park project as well. While the bid for the pre-engineered metal frame for the new Senior Citizens building was much high than city officials had anticipated, the city also received a stock donation to help the project and has been awarded a grant to help pay for the additional of an outdoor fitness court at Pacific Park.

Senior Citizens Center Project

Senior Citizens Center sign at current location on MLK Drive

City Manager Marc Maxwell noted that while more than 20 requested packets the city only received one bid, and it was for more than a half of a million dollars, up from the quarter of a million dollars originally budgeted for the pre-engineered steel frame for the Senior Citizens Center. Continued rising costs of construction were cited as cause.

“The word that we are getting is that none of the steel supplies are willing to guarantee the price of the steel, so the contractors are adding a huge margin on it to cover themselves,” Maxwell said.

The city manager anticipates, in a future meeting, asking the City Council to reject the bid, then later again go out for bids for pre-engineer metal frame for the new facility to be constructed on Oak Avenue for senior citizens activities.

Maxwell also reported that a donor who wishes to remain anonymous has indicated a desire to give to the city a “considerable” stock, proceeds from which would be applied toward the senior citizens center construction effort. The donor wishes to contribute the stock instead of selling, then donating the proceeds because the donor would then incur tax liabilities.

“They just want to donate the stock. We have no way to receive it without an account. There’s some kind of prior relationship there with Craig Johnson of Edward Jones. So I would like authorization to open up an account to receive the stock . Once we receive it, we will immediately sell it and place the proceeds in our equity account. Our finance department will do all the other things,” Maxwell told the City Council during the regular July meeting held earlier this week.

The City Council authorized the city manager to open an Edward Jones account for the purpose of receiving the securities donation.

Oak Avenue property where a new Senior Citizens Center is to be constructed

Pacific Park Project

While the voter approved funding allowed for construction of a new Grays Building and a Texas Parks & Wildlife grant will go toward additional renovations in the park, yet another grant has been approved to help fund an outdoor fitness court at Pacific Park as well.

Assistant City Manager Tory Niewiadomski noted that the outdoor fitness court is one of the things identified by the community a Parks and Recreation Open Space Master Plan was devised for improvements to city facilities. Niewiadomski and City Manager Marc Maxwell reached out to the National Fitness Campaign, a program offering grants of $25,000 to communities to help with this purpose.

The city’s park facilities were evaluated. With the considerable investment being made at Pacific Park, that was the area recommended for an outdoor fitness court. NFC looked at it and the city has has been awarded at $25,000 grant for construction of an outdoor fitness court in Pacific Park.

“This is an outdoor gym that offers free fitness opportunities to any residents and visitors and is fully accessible for all ages and abilities,” Niewiadomski said.

The National Fitness Campaign’s concept incorporates equipment for 7 movements (core, squat, push, lunge, pull agility and bend) that can be completed in 7 minutes, using the individual’s own body weight to get a “perfect workout.” The city officials played a short video from the 2021 NFC website about the purpose of the campaign and use of outdoor fitness courts.

Maxwell said he plans to approach 2-3 industries to see if they will partner with the city to provide $30,000-$35,000 each to help fund the fitness court.

Niewiadomski asked the City Council to agree to proceed so that funding can be budgeted for an outdoor fitness court can be budged in the 2021-22 calendar year.

The City Council approved Resolution No. 1245, adopting and allocating funds for an outdoor fitness court as part of the 2021 National Fitness Campaign.

Ribbon cutting last month for the new HW Grays building complete except for rollup doors inside that open onto the park, which have been ordered but the metal doors have yet to arrive and be installed. Aluminum doors are put in place inside so the facility can be used until they do.

Author: Faith Huffman

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