Funds key to which park projects occur next year

Ken Lahmers Published:

by MIKE LESKO  |  REPORTER
Aurora — Improvements at Sunny Lake Park should be under way by next March, but the question is how many of the proposed projects will be approved.
Four options face City Council, according to Parks-Recreation Director Jim Kraus.
They are to tackle boathouse construction, a concession stand, parking lot and site work, or all three.
Kraus said there is about $450,000 in the city’s budget for all three projects.
However, to complete all three would cost about $709,900, so Kraus said Council will have to come up with more money, or select which part it wishes to go forward with.
The monetary breakdown:
• Boathouse project, $454,400, includes boathouse with restrooms, pro shop, concession area, open pavilion with fireplace, patio with stamped concrete, deck, boat launch and driveway with boat ramp.
• Ballfield restrooms and pre-assembled concessions stand, $92,500.
• Parking lot project, $91,650, includes parking lot, demolition of old lot and walking trails/sidewalks.
• Permits, testing and a 10 percent contingency would cost an additional $71,350.
Kraus said last week he hopes to go out for bids on the projects after Thanksgiving, and he anticipates having the bids back by mid-December.
He said the information could be discussed by Council’s committee of the whole in December, and Council could vote on the project in mid-February. If approved, construction would start in mid-March.
The new boathouse would replace the existing one and would include a covered pavilion with an enclosed building, along with restrooms.
KRAUS SAID a new boathouse is needed because the current one has single-user restrooms, needs upgraded electrical and mechanical systems, the pavilion only allows for parties of 50 to 75 people, the existing foundation needs some correction, and the building is not heated in winter, thus the bathrooms are locked.
He said the new boathouse would provide larger restrooms able to accommodate three users of each sex at one time and would be heated for use throughout the year.
The covered pavilion would allow for rental groups of about 100 people and have an outdoor fireplace that could be used in winter by park users.
The building would include a small concessions/retail shop that will provide food and drinks throughout the year, as well as retail items such as fishing equipment.
“The boathouse would be relocated slightly closer to the water and have a patio and deck next to the water to improve boat rentals and fishing right from the deck,” Kraus said. “A multi-purpose path would be adjusted and not be placed between the building and the lake.”
The concession stand would be on the ballfield side of the park (south of East Mennonite Road). There is no existing stand.
The parking plan would remove the existing lot, which has about 28 spaces, and build one with about 41 spaces, similar to that at Kiwanis-Moore Park.
“The new lot would be a loop lot which will allow people to get in and out easier,” Kraus said. “Currently, if a person pulls in and there are no spots available, it is difficult to turn around and get back out.”
Email: mlesko@recordpub.com
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187

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