Albert Rukwaro
Special to The Gardner News
Edgerton City Council passed a resolution approving the acquisition, design, construction and equipping of a new community building during a meeting Nov. 14.
Beth Linn, city administrator, told the council that the project, known as the Greenspace Community Center, is expected to be completed by May 2021 and the resolution is a first step towards the issuance of the bonds to finance the $4 million project.
“The resolution authorizes the project and contains the project description, total cost and how the project will be funded,” she said.
During an earlier Oct. 24 meeting the city approved the CIP budget which included the cost of the project and designated the project to be financed through general obligation bonds.
Staff is bringing the resolution now so that the city may be reimbursed from the bond proceeds for expenditures made before the bonds are issued” said Linn adding that the city is allowed to issue bonds for the project under a recently enacted charter ordinance, she said.
In discussions during the meeting, Don Roberts, mayor, said he would like to temper public expectation on what the community center will look like on completion.
“It is important for people to know that it will not be a major community center with lots of amenities like they have in Olathe or other bigger cities in the region. This is more like a gathering place for the community,” he said.
Roberts said he does not want to set people up for disappointment, adding that it is important Edgerton residents don’t think that that the city is building a $50 million facility.
He added that the design of the project will enable the council to add amenities as needed in the future.
During the same meeting, Linn outlined the scope and responsibilities of the city for future Frontier Days festivals, an annual event held in the city during the summer.
Linn said that following discussion with the Frontier Days Association, the city decided to clearly spell out its responsibilities for the event noting that during the last event the city expended a lot of resources.
Roberts said the festival organizers may need to recruit more volunteers to run the event adding that the city would not like to take over the running of the event.
“The association has been running the event for 48 years. We would not like to take it away from them, but they need to get more volunteers,” he said.
The city also deferred action on a proposal to charge a fee to baseball teams whose membership is not composed of a majority city residents for use of the city’s two baseball fields until staff can conduct further study and consultations on the matter.
Matt Lewis, councilmember, cited the challenges of raising a team with majority city residents. Burdening parents of kids to an extra charge is not a good idea, regardless of residential status, he said.
“Playing baseball is expensive as it is, and I don’t like it when we add extra costs to these parents who are already doing so much to get their kids playing baseball,” he said.
Lewis coaches baseball, and he stated that Edgerton simply does not have enough kids to form a team. He said Edgerton kids who want to play baseball in a team setting rely on kids from other neighboring communities to make the necessary numbers. He also suggested that the city explore the opportunity to host games for some of the major tournaments that are held in the Metro as away to raise funds for field maintenance.