City Shocked over Basic Campground Expenditure
City Council members in Winnebago, Minn., were shocked March 13 with the cost estimate of a bathhouse in the city’s new campground.
Todd Tetzloff of Wilcon Construction presented the council with plans and specifications of the project carrying a price tag of $100,621, the Faribault County Register in Blue Earth reported.
“The price came out extremely higher than my highest guess,” councilman Rick Johnson says. “I was shocked.”
Council members voted unanimously to send the estimate back to the utility commission where the city of 2,000 in southern part of the state could determine potential cost cuts.
“I would like to see if we can cut costs,” councilwoman Stacy Huntington-Scofield says. “When I read $100,000, I felt it was quite extreme.”
Tetzloff explained cuts could be made by the city doing its own work on the project.
“The city could run the sewer, water, do the excavation and the seeding,” he says. “If the city is open to doing some work, we will be willing to take it out of the bid.”
The new bathhouse will be located on the south side of the converted mobile home park and would double as a storm shelter featuring steel doors, frames and a core filled with concrete.
“If you’re going to have a campground, you have to have protection,” councilman Scott Robertson says. “Without this, we’re basically not going to have a campground.”
The main benefit of building the bathhouse as proposed would be the minimal amount of maintenance needed. Tetzloff says the building would hardly have to be touched for 50 years after construction.
Cuts made to the overall price of the building would require additional money to maintain the bathhouse in the future.
“If we do cut a few costs, we will still not save the significant amount of money we are looking for,” councilman Chris Ziegler says. “Maintenance would also be a pain.”
Council members approved purchasing the mobile home park in August with the stipulation the area be turned into a campground. Purchase price of the land will cost $11,500 and City Administrator Austin Bleess says the city should close on the property by Tuesday.
Funding for the project will be provided by using funds from when the city sold their liquor store 10 years ago. Currently, the liquor store fund has a balance of $121,725.
After the expenses of building a bathhouse and purchasing land are taken care of, $9,600 will remain in the fund for fencing, campfire rings and hook ups.
Bleess says no tax dollars will be used for the project.