The John Day City Council learned that a professional condition assessment of the Gleason Pool could cost from $20,000 to $30,000. Councilors Steve Schuette and Brandon Smith were absent.

Senior Project Manager Aaron Lieuallen told the council April 9 this estimate might not include a core evaluation.

Former public works director and City Councilor Dave Holland said spending that much on the old pool would be a waste of money. City Manager Nick Green said the money was not available in the budget.

The city’s application for a Large Government Grant from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has passed technical review, Green said.

The $653,453 grant would be used to pay for a new parking lot at a possible new pool site, grading a level pad for the new pool, acquiring rights-of-way for a trail connecting the new parking area to a trail network along the John Day River, building a bicycle-pedestrian bridge over the river at the new Hill Family City Park, developing trails in the new city park and constructing ADA-compatible restrooms and a drop-off parking lot at the north end of the bridge.

The city will make a 10-15 minute presentation supporting the grant application in mid-June and learn the outcome soon after that. OPRD received 37 applications totaling $12.2 million. About 16 applications will be funded from the $5.2 million available, Green said.

The city also will apply for an OPRD planning grant up to $40,000 to assist in pool planning, including funding for operation and maintenance and timing for a capital improvement bond election.

In other city council news:

• The city, acting as the fiscal agent for the Grant County Digital Network Coalition, will submit an application for a $3 million federal Community Connect grant to improve broadband in Grant County.

The funding will be used to run a backbone optical fiber cable from Burns to Seneca and support fiber-to-the-home connections in Seneca and cable runs to six critical community facilities.

The coalition will also apply for a federal ReConnect grant to pay for a backbone optical fiber cable from Seneca to the network’s hub in the John Day Fire Hall.

The $1.8 million legislative appropriation the city received in 2017 will be used as a match for the two grant applications. The 15 percent match for the Community Connect grant is $450,000.

• A fiber optic cable installed between the Grant County Education Service District offices and the fire hall enabled the Grant County Emergency Communications Agency to move its 911 dispatch center from the city hall to the fire hall April 10.

• The John Day Urban Renewal Agency board, which has the same members as the city council, also met that night.

As a new agency, the board appointed eight volunteers to its budget committee: Tom Olson, Vincent Maurer, Darin Toy, Robert Raschio, Katrina Randleas, Ron Hasher, Mike Miller and Beth Spell.

The same members also serve on the city budget committee. Four of them were reappointed to the city budget committee: Olson, Raschio, Miller and Hasher.

• The city council met in executive session to discuss real property transactions.

Richard Hanners is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. He can be contacted at rick@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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