The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.

 

Published November 29, 2017

Camdenton Community Center inches forward

CAMDENTON – The city Community Center is slowly moving forward and the Board of Aldermen will soon have to decide the next step.

In a brief update last week in his written report, City Administrator Jeff Hancock outlined what it will take to move forward.

“The Mayor, Parks Director and I have been reviewing what process we should be engaged in toward moving forward on the Community Center Project,” Hancock said. “We recently met with the firm of Ballard King, a specialist in recreation and leisure demand and partnership studies.”

Based on those discussions they are recommending the following:

• Engage this firm at an estimated price of between $2,000 and $3,000 to do a market study of the feasibility of the project;
• Monitor our sales tax revenues and report back to the Board after the study is complete on both this study and the City’s financial condition on whether the City should continue this project in 2018, or postpone to a later date.

The city has over one million dollars in savings specifically for the project but depending on what the city wants to do, that may not be enough.

A community center has been on the wish list for a number of years but progress on the idea was put on hold in 2009.

At an April 2009 Board of Aldermen meeting the city discussed the possibility of seeking bids for a construction manager for the project. That caused a debate among the aldermen since no land had even been acquired for the center.

At the board meeting in December of 2015, The Mayor explained the financial situation when the board addressed purchasing the property for the facility.

“We’ve been setting aside money ever since the city pool was paid off, which was somewhere between seven to eight years ago,” said Mayor John McNabb. “We have accumulated approximately 1.6 million dollars over the years. The purchase price of the property will be taken out of that and the remainder, about 1.3 million dollars, will be used to get us started.”

The city purchased property at the corner of North Business Route 5 and Ball Park Road. The buildings on the property have been torn down awaiting the next step.

The city organized a focus group to address the needs and goals of a Community Center.

The Focus Group consisted of:

• Gary Braman, representing the park board,
• Trish Creach, Camdenton Area Chamber of Commerce,
• Mike Fink, representing the recreation group from the Community Christian Church,
• Dr. Michael Ledbetter, from Lake Regional Hospital and a local business owner,
• Dr. Ryan Neal, Camdenton R-111 schools,
• Debbie Williams, representing the interests of local arts groups.

During the second meeting of the focus group McNabb asked them to summarize the priorities that they felt were at the top of the list for inclusion for the community center.

Some of those priorities are:

• A walking track for citizens to use indoors.
• Areas that could be configured for multiple uses including movable walls which would allow the area to be divided into small meeting areas or one large room.
• An attractive lobby area
• Kitchen space
• A large high ceiling multi-purpose room

In July of this year the city choose a Community Center Committee for the project.

With money in the bank and a clear goal in mind the city could start on the project in the spring of next year – if they choose to do so.

If not, the project will once again be put on hold till the city feels ready to move forward with construction.

In other news at last week’s Board of Aldermen meeting:

• Swore in a new alderman to take the place of Dan Hagedorn, who had resigned after 13 years of service to the city.
• Approved a name change for the Camdenton Arts Council because the name was similar to the Lake Arts Council and some confusion has already taken place because of the similarity in names. The city approved the name change to the Camdenton Arts Advisory Board.
• Approved various assignments to Departments, Boards and Committees.
• Approved Naught Naught Insurance for the Agent of Record for Property and Casualty Insurance for the city.

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