Costs rise for new O’Neil pool and park upgrades, council to vote Monday

Image courtesy of MGN.
Image courtesy of MGN.(MGN)
Published: Mar. 27, 2022 at 6:36 PM CDT
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BLOOMINGTON (WEEK) - A new swimming pool and other improvements at Bloomington’s O’Neil Park would cost more than $2 million above what was budgeted for the project if the city council accepts the lowest bid at its meeting Monday night.

On the agenda is the staff’s recommendation to accept the bid from contractor P.J. Hoerr of Normal, which bid almost $13.9 million, which is lower than bids submitted by two other firms.

In the budget, the city initially planned for the project to cost $11.7 million.

Staffers said the city would pay for the upgrades by borrowing $5.8 million, and the rest of the cost coming from reserves in the general fund.

In their report to the council, city staffers said they believed O’Neil’s “rejuvenation” is a worthy investment because it would “enhance and stimulate” West Bloomington’s economy.

Staffers said the pool would create future job opportunities for lifeguards, provide safe recreational options, and teach an important life-safety skill by offering swimming lessons there.

Also planned for O’Neil is a skatepark, a new parking lot, and concessions.

The council will also vote Monday whether to sell $20 million in bonds that would partially fund the pool and park improvements, plus the expansion and renovation of the Bloomington Public Library.

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