The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

July 13, 2013

Bandshell costs escalate

By Katie Dahlstrom
Assistant Editor

---- — CLINTON — Renovating the Riverview bandshell is now expected to cost nearly twice as much as originally anticipated at more than $200,000.

Improvements to the bandshell last became more expensive after engineers reviewed the renovation plans and found some unsettling plans.

“Some of the things just gave me a little pause and I’m a little bit, well quite a bit, uncomfortable signing off on something that hasn’t been looked at structurally,” City Engineer Jason Craft told members of the Clinton City Council this week.

In particular, Craft noted two towers that members of the Vision 8 group planned to attach to either side of the front of the structure and a sign that they intended to attach to the top.

He recommended that if the city was to go forward with the presented design, the towers and sign should not be attached to the bandshell, but be free-standing structures. To make the towers safe would cost another $15,000 and the changes to the sign part of the design would bump it $35,000 more.

“You just enter into a lot of liability when you place something that heavy on an old structure. Not that you would cause any damages, but if something ever did happen, you’d probably be sued or you could open yourself up to being sued,” Craft said.

To get the renovation up to par and away from a large liability, Craft also suggested the city work with a structural engineer to create a new design. McClure Engineering would charge the city $12,500 for the new design.

At-large Councilwoman Jennifer Graf thanked Craft for grounding the project.

“I would like to say thanks to Jason for bringing your expertise and skill sets back to a dream and making it something that’s more practical for safety for the citizens of Clinton. I think we’ve found the funding sources for the different options that are needed to reach this goal,” Graf said.

Although the design work will delay the project, Craft said it could be finished by the end of this construction season in late October to November.

This is the second time the project’s price tag has grown. The renovation is being funded with $145,900 from the Clinton County Development Association. The money is part of a $200,000 Vision Iowa disbursement from the CCDA to the city and as such can’t be given directly to Vision 8. Instead, the project is subject to guidelines the city has to follow such as public bidding and architectural needs.

Last month the potential cost inflated from up to $109,000 to $145,000 because of the city guidelines. The latest suggestions push the face lift above $200,000.

City Administrator Jessica Kinser explained the city has $99,000 in the marina construction fund from $325,000 in Vision Iowa related disbursements that could be used for the bandshell project.

Mayor Mark Vulich suggested the city also look for grants that could offset some of the costs.