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Jaycee Park swim complex contracts to be awarded

After canceling last Wednesday’s special meeting, the Clinton City Council plans another special meeting for 2 p.m. today (Nov. 15) to approve three contracts to build new swimming facilities in Jaycee Park.

There are three separate contracts expected to be awarded, one for the new Clinton outdoor swimming pool, one for a new splash pad, and another to renovate the swim complex building.

Low bidders were Thomas Hicks Construction of Clinton, $791,000, for the pool building; DWR Aquatics, Inc., $573,000, for the new pool; and Classic Pools & Spas, $278,675, for the splash pad, according to Clinton City Manager Roger Houck.

The project was divided into the three separate elements after the city received no bids when seeking bidders for the project as one contract.

Total of the three lowest bids was $1.64 million, which was over the $1.5 million budget the city approved for the project in fall 2021, Houck said.

Because the bids were over budget, the council during its Oct. 23 meeting deferred awarding the contracts until the city could study the bids further and resolve the issue of the work coming in over budget.

If it takes place, today’s meeting actually will be the third the city had scheduled to approve the contracts. There was supposed to be a special meeting Nov. 2 to award the contracts, but Houck said he canceled that meeting as he sought additional state grant funding for the project.

Clinton originally was awarded a $750,000 local parks and recreation grant in fall 2021 from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for the pool project, which the city had to match. That prompted the council to allocate the $1.5 million.

After the bids came in over that amount, Houck said he applied to TDEC for additional money, and the city was approved for a total grant of $900,000.

“We applied on Tuesday (Oct. 31) and got approved within 48 hours,” he said. “Again, we must match that, so the other $900,000 will come from the city’s capital projects fund.”

The city has enough money in the capital budget so none of that has to be borrowed, he said.

As for the project going over budget, Houck said he was not surprised.

“That’s really not bad,” he said. “The way things are costing today, I really expected it, and it’s better than I thought it would come in. We were awarded this grant in fall 2021, so the [project] is about 3 years old.

He said he called for the special meeting so the contracts could be awarded and work could begin before winter, with hopes that the new pool, splash pad and related parts could be ready to open by next summer.

“I’m ready to get started, and the contractors are ready to get started,” he said last week.

“We didn’t want to have to wait until the Nov. 27 regular council meeting” Houck said.

Clinton’s outdoor pool, in Jaycee Park off Nave Street, has been closed since the end of the 2019 season. It was not reopened for 2020 in part because of leaks discovered the previous season, and because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Houck earlier said that after the pool closed on Labor Day 2019, regular maintenance found two leaks -- a leak in the plumbing, last repaired in 1985; and in the lining, last repaired in 2002. Together, they resulted in a loss of about 10,000 gallons of water a day.

Since then the plan was devised to build a new, smaller pool and add a splash pad at the Jaycee Park location, using the state grant money for part of the costs.