Project 1590 / Martin County Commissions work session

Project 1590 approached the Martin County Commissions at a work session on Tuesday to ask the board to consider a potential financial commitment to a proposed community center in Fairmont.

Commissioners heard a presentation from Steve Hawkins, Brandon Edmundson and Michael Edman. Also present was Fairmont finance director Paul Hoye.

Hawkins reviewed potential benefits of a community center, including job creation, attracting new residents and generally increasing the quality of life for area residents.

Edmundson said the group is in the process of conducting a feasibility study, including the development of a design plan. He said the main components of a potential phase one plan would include indoor aquatics for winter months with some swimming lanes, a water slide and a zero-depth entry area. Also included would a low-impact fitness area; child watch area; an indoor fieldhouse and walking track; and a large conference space, with the goal of getting as many different uses out of these areas as possible.

Edmundson said the phase one portion of the center is projected to cost $24.7 million. He said they don’t have firm commitments from anybody for dollars. Our plan is to discuss this with public entities, the county, school and city, and confirm what they’re going to do.

Commissioners Kathy Smith noted that the county is currently facing its own big financial project, a proposed Justice Center that would cost $40 million.

The county commissioners also discussed the preliminary 2019 budget and whittled the proposed levy increase down to 5.49% from the original starting point of 10.31% . The preliminary budget has to be approved by Sept.18.

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