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Need for agreement, city to be project manager in band shell project, says Grangeville council

We can’t do it as the funds come in. We’re going to have to have real numbers"

Grangeville City Hall

Grangeville City Hall

— The vision and fund-raising for a proposed band shell at Pioneer Park would remain in private hands, but overseeing the project would now fall under the management of the City of Grangeville.

This is the consensus reached by the city council at its Sept. 4 meeting, which appointed two members to meet with project coordinators on formalizing civic and private responsibilities in subsequent planning and development efforts for the structure now two years in the making.

“This group needs to know what they’re paying for, and what the city is going to install and pay for,” said Mayor Wes Lester.

Private planning and fund-raising efforts began in 2017 to develop a band shell structure at Pioneer Park for public performances and presentations. Initial project cost estimates were between $60,000 to $65,000, toward which the city has approved up to $30,000. The most recent plan includes keeping the existing Soroptimist Pavilion, but shifting it to accommodate and be in proximity to the shell.

During a half-hour discussion last week, the council heard recommendations from department heads on the need to oversee project control as the band shell would become the responsibility of the city.

“You will physically be the owners of this project,” said public works supervisor Bob Mager, with organizers having a say in the design that would be completed according to city standards that comply with current regulations.

The project would move through the building permit process that lays out architecturally approved plans and cost estimates. Those involved in construction would be bonded, with public works contractor’s licenses. The scope of work would be outlined and done in phases, and each side’s responsibility set up front for those steps. A coordinated effort is important as, for example, plans for ADA improvements at the park need to be set at grade to serve the proposed shell.

“If we take over the project, and we get, say, phase one done, and the committee decides it doesn’t want to pursue this anymore?” questioned councilor Dylan Canaday. “Do we tear down what we have, or pay for the rest of it with our money?”

“That’s why you have to have all the money on the table before this whole thing starts,” Mager said, as would be the same for the city in a project it were to pursue. “You can’t live with a part that’s not finished,” he said.

“We can’t do it as the funds come in,” Lester explained later, or be left with an unfinished project the city can’t afford to complete. “We’re going to have to have real numbers, and if it comes in at $100,000, they’re going to have to have $100,000 before they start anything.”

Laid out during discussion was establishing city management would take many of the unknowns out of the project, and avoid the municipality of taking over a structure built out of its control that it would have to put further work and money into for it to meet code.

Allowing citizens to do their own thing on public property is not how cities operate, according to city attorney Adam Green.

“It’s like any piece of infrastructure in city,” he said. “You wouldn’t let community members just pave their street, or something like that.” He continued, “There’s not a real city in the country that lets volunteers just build whatever they want on city property. This has to be a city project at some point, as far as I’m concerned. Their role is fund-raising and design. The next step, in my mind, is budget and cost analysis. We can compare what they fund-raised to what this is going to cost and move it along.”

The need for a plan of work to set a budget is important, according to both Green and Mager, to let both organizers and the city know what percentages each is responsible for funding, versus the confusion of piecemealing each detail out.

Councilors Beryl Grant and Scott Winkler, along with Mager and public works director Jeff McFrederick were appointed to coordinate with band shell organizers on establishing an agreement.


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