The city and its Industrial Development Authority have agreed on terms for transferring ownership of Evergreen Park so the proposed spray pad facility can be built there.
During last week’s St. Clair Board of Aldermen meeting, members passed an ordinance directing Mayor Ron Blum “to convey Evergreen Park” to the IDA so the spray park can be constructed and to simultaneously execute a lease with option to repurchase the Park Drive property at the end of the lease term.
The city’s lease will be annual with a payment not to exceed $35,000 and with 11 automatic one-year renewals. The city then would buy back the park for $1.
“This is the beginning of the paperwork necessary to complete the land transaction of transferring Evergreen Park so the spray park can be built,” City Administrator Rick Childers told the aldermen.
Also last week, the IDA board approved the same deal as well as the design for the spray park, Childers said.
A quit-claim deed will be executed to transfer the park property.
The IDA will obtain a loan for the spray park funding, which has a $290,000 price tag. Westport Pools Inc. of St. Louis is the designer and builder.
Also during the board of aldermen’s March 4 meeting, Childers confirmed that a letter of intent for the spray park was sent to Westport Pools as well as $9,500 to the company for design services.
The board opted to have that money come out of the park board’s budgeted 2013 funds for the facility, which would in the end lower the amount of the loan the IDA needs to obtain.
Earlier in February, Childers outlined the agreement and financing plan for the spray park to the aldermen.
In 1977, the Missouri Legislature authorized the establishment of municipal or county Industrial Development Authorities as an alternative to bonds being issued by a city or county. During that earlier meeting, City Attorney Kurt Voss said the city has no other options but to move forward with the project in this way with the established completion deadline.
The city has projected an opening date for the new spray park of May 22.
Originally, the city was looking at certificates of participation as an option to finance the water park.
Under the terms of the IDA pact, Evergreen Park would serve as the collateral for the loan. The board of aldermen would have to approve the annual payment every year for the life of the loan.
During its February meeting, the St. Clair Parks and Recreation Board recommended to the aldermen that the spray park project move forward in this way. Members passed a resolution that the city’s governing board proceed with the project.
Westport’s plan includes 21 deck-level and five above-ground structural features that would be divided into three areas — toddler, grade school and early teens. Benches, shade areas and restrooms also would be constructed. The spray features would consist of various jets, including a noodle tower, mist tunnel and tsunami spray, and three water cannons.