MARYVILLE, Mo. — One of the chief issues highlighted by Maryville Parks and Recreation ahead of April’s vote for a quarter-cent sales tax increase is set to be addressed.
The MPR board on Monday reviewed bids for a new heating and cooling system at the Maryville Community Center, which has been showing its age. Especially on days like Monday, with high temperatures in the mid-90s, the air conditioning has struggled to keep up. Earlier this year, the MPR board put the community center’s heating and cooling system at the top of its maintenance priority list.
Steve Griffith, facilities maintenance supervisor, said that the air conditioning unit in the gym no longer works, and is only “blowing air around” — though he noted that was better than nothing.
The gym unit is one of six at the facility that are slated for replacement, in part due to the passage of the sales tax increase in April, though collection of that tax doesn’t begin until the fall.
Consequently, MPR staff hope this is the last summer they’ll have to make do with the original units that were installed alongside the building’s construction 20 years ago.
The MPR board on Monday reviewed three bids that had three major components: the gym, other parts of the community center and a remote monitoring and control system.
The remote monitoring and control system would allow staff to remotely set temperatures and schedule changes rather than have to manually set each thermostat.
Bids received were from Archdekin & Jones Plumbing & Heating of St. Joseph for around $425,000; St. Joseph Plumbing, Heating and Cooling for around $475,000; and SGI of Liberty for around $525,000.
MPR Director Jeff Stubblefield said that the low bid included a remote control system that he has heard from other parks administrators can be troublesome to use. St. Joseph Plumbing, Heating and Cooling has been servicing the system for the past year and was the only bidder that inspected the community center on-site prior to submitting a bid, so as the next-lowest bid, he recommended going with that one.
However, board members asked for more information on the remote system pricing model and equipment warranties, and did not select a contractor during Monday’s meeting. Instead, after getting the answers to the remaining questions, the board will likely meet soon in special session to do so.
Although the new quarter-cent sales tax increase won’t start being collected until the fall, MPR does have about $440,000 remaining from the 20-year bond issue that lapsed in 2020. That tax increase was passed in 2000 to pay for the construction of the community center, and the leftover money must be spent on that facility.
That’s where the bulk of the cost for the new heating and cooling system will come from.
Stubblefield said that regardless of which contractor is selected, the new system is estimated to be in place sometime in November.
- Following some parent inquiries, MPR plans to send end-of-season surveys to parents whose kids participate in youth baseball in the ages 7-8 group to gauge their preferences for using pitching machines or coaches to pitch. Currently that age group uses pitching machines, but some parents have expressed a preference for coaches to pitch instead. Stubblefield said he was open to the idea as long as enough coaches would be willing to pitch.
- More than 350 people attended the first Concert in the Park featuring Silver Bullet and Petty Thieves on May 21, said Bailey Fergison, special events and marketing manager for MPR. The second event was held on Saturday with country singer Ashley Barron. Fergison said the second concert was shorter because Silver Bullet and Petty Thieves asked to continue playing longer than contracted during their set last month, but Barron was unable to do so because the band she was playing with wasn’t hers and had only learned the prepared songs. Barron did stick around to sign autographs and take photos with fans, though.
- The community center will be closed on July 4.
- The Maryville Aquatic Center will be open from 1-5 p.m. on July 4 with half-price admission.
- Three hundred and fifty-four people came to the aquatic center on its first day of operation on May 30.
- This summer, private lesson instructors at the aquatic center anticipate administering more than 700 lessons.
- Work continues at the Thomson Splash ‘N’ Play on several new additions, including a picnic shelter and a restroom facility. The construction remains on track for completion in August.
- A $5,375 bid from Maryville Lock and Glass was selected to equip the front four doors at the community center with a hard-wired, ADA-compliant electronic opening system. Currently, only one door is connected to a button-activated opener. However, the unit is a remote and battery powered — like a garage door opener — and does not always work correctly. It’s one of several accessibility improvements to parks facilities planned in the near future after the passage of a 1/4-cent sales tax increase in April.
- MPR plans to move ahead with a new phone system after receiving a $3,940 quote from MTE Office Center and United Fiber. The new system will also merge MPR into the city of Maryville’s phone system, allowing for easier transfer and contact with other city departments.
- The MPR board welcomed two new members at its Monday meeting, Buddy Mayfield and Gentry Martin. Mayfield will serve the remainder of DeAnn Davison’s term through May 31, 2024. Davison stepped down once she was hired as the city’s tourism director, per city policy. Martin replaced Adam Teale, who completed his term and stepped down. Martin’s term runs through May 31, 2025.
- The board also reorganized, but kept officers the same: Jeff Ferguson, president; Zach Wray, vice president; and Rachelle Wilmes, secretary.