Canby Council looks at swim center
During a work session prior to its May 19 city council meeting, the Canby City Council had the future of the Canby Swim Center on its collective mind.
City Administrator Scott Archer said the work session on the pool had a two-pronged goal. The first was renewal of the five-year local option levy the facility operates under. The current five-year levy ends next year.
"We need to get it on this November's ballot," Archer said. "It's just a renewal; there is no increase in the rate."
Currently, residents within the levy's boundaries pay 49 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The estimated total amount that would be raised over the course of the five-year period is a tad more than $5 million.
"The council was supportive and asked for formal action, so we will bring back a resolution in the next couple of meetings," Archer said. "It's on the June 16 agenda for formal approval."
The second topic of pool conversation was looking at potential renovations at the swim center.
"We have been working with architecture firm Scott Edwards Architecture out of Portland," Archer said. "We've been doing some renderings and things like that. We are looking at the existing footprint for the front of the building -– entry way, locker rooms, front desk, adding a family or gender-neutral restroom, improving flow through the front to the pool, things like that."
Archer said the city has been working on potential renovations for some time and had whittled things down to three project possibilities, ranging in price from $400,000 to $850,000. Archer said staff recommended a plan that was in the $520,000 range, but all three were presented to the council.
"The funding source for this is that we have money in our reserve fund for the pool," Archer explained. "What we've been doing for years is putting money in a reserve account from money generated by the (pool) option levy. We have enough money to do something."
Archer said the Canby City Council was supportive of the idea of renovating the swim center's front area and wanted to see more of the staff-recommended plan, as well as the more extensive idea.
"We do have enough in the reserve fund to cover that ($850,000) plan if needed," Archer said.
Archer said that the council also talked about a long-term lease instead of going year-to-year, as is now the process. The twist in the relationship between the swim center and city is that the facility sits on Canby School District property.
There is also the very real possibility that the future may require a new facility be built. But that, said Archer, is a little way down the road.
"We think that with this renovation, the improvements we make and the work we do to maintain the mechanical structures, we've got some good life left in this facility," Archer said. "At some point, there will need to be a discussion about what our community needs and wants in a swim facility."
For now, Archer and his staff will compile more information on the two proposals the council favored and bring it back before council at a later date for consideration.
In other council news:
n The Canby City Council is nearing a finalized deal with Clackamas County to transfer county-owned roads that sit in the Canby city limits to the city of Canby.
This has been an issue discussed for years, but Archer said that the ball is rolling.
"The council did approve us entering into a couple of different agreements with Clackamas County to transfer those roads over to the city," Archer said. "This has been a point of discussion for quite a few years and there will be some funds that come with those roads."
Portions of North Locust Street, North Maple Street, North Redwood Street and South Redwood Street are part of the transfer.
n Also on the agenda was a large money-savings ordinance that the Urban Renewal Agency and Canby City Council passed. It will save the URA about $5.8 million in interest payments for debts for past URA projects within the city.
"We are essentially refinancing our debt on the remainder of the Urban Renewal Agency debt," Archer said. "That makes that money available to reinvest new urban renewal projects."
The current debt that was refinanced runs through the 2025-26 fiscal year.
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