Paola ready to move forward with stadium, pool and dam projects | Government

PAOLA – Members of Paola’s city council have cleared the start of several projects that are expected to be funded by sales tax revenue of half a cent, but a council member calls on the city to curb the new project stadiums in Wallace Park.

Council members, at their October 12 meeting, approved an order authorizing the issuance of general bonds in an estimated amount of $ 6.7 million ($ 4.2 million for two new ball fields sod and related items at Wallace Park; and $ 2.5 million for improvements to the Paola Pool family). The ordinance also authorizes the estimated cost of $ 1.2 million for the stabilization of the Lake Miola dam.

Before council members voted on the ordinance, council member LeAnne Shields read a statement asking the city to wait for the stadium project.

“The half-cent sales tax went into effect 12 days ago and the board is being asked to vote to borrow $ 6.7 million in bonds plus finance costs,” Shields said. “I support the swimming pool and the stabilization of the lake dam. I ask that we vote only on these two points for the moment. “

Shields said the two proposed baseball diamonds will be built in part in the floodplain and the floodway. She referred to a current GIS map from the Miami County Zoning Department, which showed the floodplain in blue and the Floodway in pink.

Shields said the city’s Land Use Planning Ordinance (LDO) floodplain management regulations state that no development will be permitted except through the issuance of a floodplain development permit. . She added that FEMA could possibly be involved.

“We shouldn’t be asking taxpayers to take out $ 4.2 million by jumping the gun and buying baseball field bonds until we have city and state LDO approval. “said Shields.

Shields previously suggested continuing negotiations to acquire a property north of 295th Street between the railroad tracks and Rockwood Estates for the ball fields. She also suggested that if council members wanted to keep the ball fields in Wallace Park, a better location would be the site of the old armory where the concrete slab is located east of the main entrance.

City manager Sid Fleming said the ordinance does not approve the issuance of the bonds, it simply allows projects of the scope and size listed and allows the city to issue temporary notes to pay for up-front costs. initials, including engineering and more detailed plans for the proposed project. new sports complex and Wallace Park.

Fleming said that Confluence’s current concept drawings show that two turf fields could be built at Wallace Park outside of the floodplain, but more research needs to be done.

The ordinance was passed 3-1, with Shields voting against.

Fleming said he would continue to speak with the city’s financial adviser to work out the financing plan and the possible issuance of temporary notes by the next council meeting in November.

Later in the Oct. 12 meeting, following an executive session, board members voted to suspend Fleming with pay and benefits pending the results of an independent inquiry into the personnel issues.

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