More funds sought for rec center

NEW ULM — The City is seeking additional funds from the New Ulm Economic Development Authority for the Recreation Center improvement project.

A special meeting of the EDA will be held at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29, to consider authorizing EDA funds to help partially fund the Recreation Center.

The city’s construction manager (CM) estimated the Recreation Center improvements to cost $13.8 million. After reviewing value engineering for the project, staff, the CM and the architect have reduced the cost to $12.5 million, but this is still over $2 million more than the initial estimate.

The Reinvest New Ulm (RENU) projects are funded by a local 0.5% sales tax authorized by voters on November 8, 2016, and the State of Minnesota during the May 2017 legislative special session. The city planned to use this money for improvements to Johnson Park, Hermann Heights Park parking lot and the Recreation Center.

The Recreation Center upgrades were the highest cost RENU project. They include a new aquatics center, a gymnastics center, a wellness center and an indoor playground. City staff and architects designed the Recreation Center improvements in an attempt to limit the cost to $9.5 million.

The EDA will decide whether to assist in funding the Recreation Center project at the special 8 a.m. meeting at City Hall. A RENU Oversight Committee meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Civic Center. The main topic will be the Recreation Center.