City pledges support to shelter, band shell projects, looks to 2023 construction
After almost two years of planning, the bandshell and pavilion projects moved closer to reality on Monday thanks to a boost from the city of Medford.
“We have combined our forces of the bandshell and pavilion committees to fundraise together,” said committee chairman Billie Hartwig speaking on behalf of the planning group made of area residents and business owners.
She said recently a donor has signed for the naming rights of the band shell and after another successful Parkfest, people have been coming into the Medford Area Chamber of Chamber office asking how they can help with the funding of these projects.
Mayor Mike Wellner proposed to the Committee of the Whole on Monday night that the city donate up to $550,000 to complete both the bandshell and pavilion projects in 2023.
“I feel that if the city donates, followed by some local businesses and community members, the community will feel that it is more of a community involved project,” Wellner said.
The combined total for both of the projects is estimated to be $750,000. So far, almost $200,000 has been raised with the anticipation of more funds being raised in the future. With Parkfest continuing to grow every year, these two projects could be a major investment to the community for years to come.
“How many funds have actually been committed towards the project?” asked council member Mike Bub.
Hartwig said “There have been $58,000 committed to the pavilion project and we are just shy of $90,000 for the bandshell with the opportunity of more funds coming in from what we are hearing from.”
City coordinator Joe Harris said “These commitments are not just verbal they are also in writing.”
Hartwig was optimistic about getting other donations in support of the project.
Wellner asked for the funding to be approved so that during the winter months all of the engineering can be finalized and the construction can begin in the spring.
Bub’s main concern was with the cost of living and inflation increasing in the past few years from when the estimates were first presented. He suggested that the city should give $100,000 more than what was originally projected to give.
“I would like to see the projects get done right and not take any shortcuts because of a shortage of funding,” Bub added.
Mayor Wellner agreed with Bub’s comment, but also stated that the committee could also come back in the future and request more funds if needed.
The committee agreed to invest $550,000 of the city’s money into these projects to get them off the ground. They all agreed that having the community get involved would be a benefit to increase donations for this project.
Along with grants that they are hoping to receive Hartwig said that will help to offset the cost of the projects as well. There was some talk about the bandshell being rented out for future events, not just for Parkfest, Harris said he would have to look into it.
In other business:
• Freedom Vapors presented their application for the approval of a tobacco license. They are a new business going in at 1012 S. 8th St.
• Wastewater rates are increasing from $1.43 per pound to $1.60 per pound due to the addition of grease trap waste from local businesses being added to the resolution.