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Pool funding to include mix of cash, borrowed money

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” A mix of borrowed money and cash will likely round out the needed funding for the Community Center aquatic center.

City manager Mike Copp told the Glenwood Springs City Council at its regular meeting Thursday that the aquatic center will cost about $4 million to build.

After all the community pledges, grants and earlier City Council appropriations were taken into consideration, Copp said the city will have to come up with an additional $2.5 million to $2.75 million.



“Know that you have to have the money allocated before we can award the contract,” Copp told the council.

Council’s options included using cash, borrowing the entire amount and using a combination of cash and loans.



“If we were to use cash, I suggest it comes from our enterprise funds, the electric and landfill,” Copp said. “The advantage to that is there would be no debt.”

But the downfall to the all-cash strategy is the large expenditure would put the city in a “pretty tight situation,” Copp said.

The city could use a revenue bond or certificates of participation to borrow the funds, Copp said.

“The disadvantage to that is that it would be adding cost to the pool because of interest,” Copp said.

Copp said he and finance director Mike Harman both agree that if the city is to use cash from its reserves, $1.5 million should be about the maximum, and advised borrowing the rest.

“I’m not convinced we have to go into debt for it right now,” City Councilman Larry Beckwith said.

Councilman Bruce Christensen said he’s against using all cash for the center.

“I support building a pool, but I’d hate to tie ourselves up,” he said.

He also suggested putting aside some money for the proposed whitewater park, but other council members shot down that idea.

“I could care less about a kayak park right now because that’s not a voter issue. We should clean up some messes,” Beckwith said.

Councilman Dave Merritt said council needs to “focus very strongly on the pledge recovery.”

A fund-raising group called Friends of the Community Center has received pledges totaling $1.1 million, but much of that money still needs to be collected.

“That is the swing. We really need to get those in. It could be a major part of the decision on whether a pool gets built,” Merritt said.

In the end, council directed the city staff to come back with options for using a mix of cash and borrowed money to fund the aquatic center.

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

gmasse@postindependent.com


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