Seldovia seeking kids club

Posted: Tuesday, August 19, 2003

The cost of building a proposed new community center in Seldovia to accommodate youth activities there has proved to be more expensive than originally expected, but the Boys and Girls Club of America has promised enough funding to make up the difference.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly will hold a public hearing today on Ordinance 2003-19-07, accepting a $100,000 grant from the national organization for the Seldovia Community Educa-tion Center, a 2,400-square-foot facility to be built next to Susan B. English School to house the Seldovia Boys and Girls Club.

The structure also will be available for other community activities.

According to borough estimates, actual construction of the building designed by Kluge and Associates of Kenai would cost $435,464. Other project fees would be expected to boost that figure to nearly $530,000.

But the project had only $430,000 in the bank when the borough went out for construction bids, said Tina Marie Herford, executive director of Boys and Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula Inc., under which the Seldovia club operates.

Herford said she was worried that if the bids came back above the $430,000 already available, it would derail the project. She called the national organization's government relations department hoping they might direct her to other funding sources. A few weeks later, she said, she got a call from the department informing her they would fund the extra $100,000.

"They recognized how much we really needed a facility (in Seldovia)," Herford said.

Youngsters in Seldovia currently use a small storefront space next to the grocery store in a building owned by the Seldovia Native Association. It is wholly inadequate for the number of members, she said.

"They are elbow to elbow in there," she said.

The $430,000 in grants already in the bank and appropriated to the project include $200,000 obtained through the state's Community Development Block Grant Program, $100,000 from the Rasmuson Foundation, $100,000 from Cook Inlet Region Inc., $20,000 from Mr. and Mrs. Keith Swayne, and $10,000 from the Seldovia Village Tribe.

Two of those grants have completion deadlines of Dec. 31, 2003. To speed things up a bit, the ordinance was put on a fast track introduced Aug. 5 with its public hearing and final vote scheduled for tonight.

Herford said once the assembly officially accepts and reappropriates the Boys and Girls Club grant money, the construction contract would be awarded. She said she expects the building to be completed or nearly so by the end of the year and does not anticipate any problems with any of the existing grants.

The construction contract is expected to be awarded to the low bidder, Holden Company of Soldotna, under a separate measure to be considered tonight, Resolution 2003-091. Holden's total bid was $395,464.

The difference between that figure and the $528,535 estimated as the total project cost by the borough is made up of a 10-percent construction contingency ($40,000), architectural and engineering fees amounting to $54,171, and administrative and other indirect costs.

In other business, the assembly is expected to:

n Hold a public hearing on Ordinance 2003-19-09, accepting and appropriating a $94,000 grant from the Alaska Manufacturers' Association for the Cook Inlet Branding Project.

n Hold a hearing on Ordinance 2003-33, authorizing sale of 41 parcels of borough land by an outcry public auction to be held Oct. 4.

n Introduce Ordinance 2003-19-10, accepting and appropriating a grant from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources for $70,000 to conduct research and mapping of section line easements.

n Introduce Ordinance 2003-19-11, accepting and appropriating a $68,200 grant from the U.S. Forest Service for the Kenai Peninsula Borough Forest Health Restoration Program, part of the borough's spruce bark beetle mitigation project.

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