The city of Avon will begin exploring options for a new city hall and community pool at council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 3. (The meeting is one day later than normal, due to the Labor Day holiday.) The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m.
Mayor Jim Smith said the meeting, which the public is welcome to attend and offer input, is a first step.
“Definitely,” Smith said. “That’s why we want them there.”
Tentative plans are to build both on city-owned property behind the police and fire stations on Detroit Road. Known as the “Peak Property,” after the family that sold it, the property was bought in parcels in the 1990s with the balance purchased in 2010.
“Even though I’m out of here in a couple of months, it’s still my obligation to get it going,” Smith, who is retiring in January 2014, said. “I’ve been reviewing the pool plans for three years and city hall plans for five years.”
He said the cost, which will be discussed in detail on Tuesday by Finance Director Bill Logan, is projected to be $5 million for a new city hall and $4 million for a pool.
The current city hall on Chester Road, which was formerly a church, would be an easy sell, Smith said.
“The value keeps going up and up,” he said of the Chester Road land. Financially, he said the city is in good shape and adequate income is coming in.
The mayor said he frequently fields calls from residents who want a pool, but noted there are those in the community who are opposed to it.
"Let's air it out, let's get it done," he said.
The Peak Property
That land, Smith said, could be developed in part due to a clay base 5 feet down.
“We’d want to do test bores,” Smith said. “And see how much clay and its quality below. If there is clay that someone wants to get rid of it, we’ll stock pile it.”
If developed, the property could include walking trails and sidewalks near Bentley Park. Smith would like to see sidewalks in for kids biking to the pool.
“I’ve walked back there with (Recreation Director) Diane Corrao to map out trails,” Smith said.
The city purchased additional property in the last 2000s that could offer an additional exit onto SR 83.
“That would prevent things from getting clogged up,” Smith said.
Why not at the YMCA
Smith said he’s heard comments asking why the city did not explore building an outdoor pool at the YMCA, which currently has an indoor pool. The location, Smith said, was not ideal for children on bikes and foot.
“Originally, it started as a bid with the Y, but that’s outside the center of the community,” Smith said. “Kids would have to bike near I-90. I didn’t think that was the proper thing to do. I knew we’d get the Peak Property and the center of the community is ideal. We can have outdoor meets in the summertime. It’s an ideal section.”
Smith said it was his preference, but noted it was just his opinion, that the pool should be built before a new city hall.