MUSCATINE — The Muscatine City Council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing an application to the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Destination Iowa Grant Program and allocating $600,000 of Local Funding for the Design and Construction of the Muscatine Indoor Sports Complex.

During the Dec. 1 meeting, the concept of the indoor complex was presented and approved by the council, as well as the use of $600,000 in 2024 bond proceeds. Since then, the Muscatine County Board of Supervisors has also approved $400,000 as the county’s part of the cost of the complex. The board packet said the money from two private donors had been received, but did not say who the donors were or how much they donated. The resolution is a requirement for the grant application. Grants will be awarded in January.

The estimated cost of designing and constructing the Indoor Sports Complex is $4 million (based on a conceptual estimate). This estimate includes $1,660,000 for the dome structure, $940,000 for the synthetic field, $400,000 in professional engineering services, and $1,000,000 in construction costs. Muscatine County has committed to $400,000 in funding and the city has received official confirmation of a portion of private donations. The city has also submitted an application for $1 million in funds from the Carver Trust. Any use of city funds is contingent on receiving commitments from other funding sources. A preliminary design is currently under development.

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In addition to the initial construction costs, the city will handle operating and maintenance costs for the facility. The annual operating and maintenance costs are estimated at $279,327. Facility usage revenue, $50,000 annual hotel/motel tax revenue, and other revenue sources are likely to fund the annual costs of operation based on staff’s financial assumptions.

The community grant writer will submit the Destination Iowa Grant application by Dec. 31. Fundraising for private donations will continue and will need to be secured prior to submitting the Destination Iowa Grant.

The council also voted to table a change order to the West Hill Sewer Separation Project that would add work to the project. The change order would add storm and sanitary sewer installation not originally included in the project at a cost of $6.3 million. The project had also been estimated to be completed Nov. 30 and the additional work will move the completion date to August 2023.

Council member Jeff Osborne requested the item be held in order to discuss the change before voting on it. Council member Angela Lewis said she did not want to see the item held very long. It will be discussed during the Jan. 5, 2023 meeting.

A public hearing was also set during the Jan. 5 meeting on the sewer lining project. Due to aging sanitary sewer mains throughout the city, Public Works staff has been researching alternatives from replacement to rehabilitation. With the current state of the economy, construction costs have essentially prohibited the replacement option. One method that stands out is Cured-in-Place liners, a process where a resin-impregnated flexible tube is inverted into the original pipe and expanded to fit tightly against said pipe by the use of water or air pressure. The resin system is then cured by elevating the temperature of the water or air used for inflation to a level sufficient for the initiators in the resin to effect a thermosetting reaction. This is a cost-effective way to add 50 years to the life of the current sewer system. The estimated cost of the project is $100,000.