Clarkdale re-thinking approach to fixing historic town gazebo

Staff photo by Angela De Welles

CLARKDALE council members will discuss the future of the town's gazebo at a work session scheduled for Sept. 14. The town's previous council voted almost a year ago to refurbish the structure.

Instead they decided to table the bids until their next scheduled meeting. They also requested a work session on the matter.

Council member Rex Williams said he doesn't believe the previous council handled the gazebo decision with fiscal responsibility in mind.

He recommended that the council reject all the bids on the table.

"You could put a whole new gazebo in there for half of what we're going to spend," he said.

Two bids were received. One was for $36,139 the other was for $36,960. Both proposals allowed the town's staff and volunteers to do some of the work, cutting some of the costs.

The town staff also put forth a bid of $30,788 on behalf of the town's maintenance crew.

Williams said that would be a misuse of the town crew's time. Council member Frank Sa voiced concern over the safety issues relating to using town staff for such an intensive project.

He said as it stands now, the gazebo is not a safe structure. It's been stripped of the lead paint. Some of the damaged wood has also been removed.

"I'm surprised with the wind that we've had that that thing is still standing," Sa said.

Williams suggested buying a kit gazebo and installing it. He said he's received estimates ranging from about $14,000.

"We're better off to bite the bullet," he said. "Accept our roles as fiscal guardians for the town."

So far, the Clarkdale Foundation has collected $24,304.12 in donations for the gazebo. The town of Clarkdale has received $6,001.25.

Council member Pat Williams asked if the council even has the authority to use the money collected so far for an entirely new gazebo.

"A great deal of money was collected from many citizens in town," she said.

Mayor Doug Von Gausig agreed with Pat Williams that the money collected so far has been in response to the town's decision to refurbish the gazebo.

"I think that historic nature is what the townspeople want," he said.

Williams made a motion to reject all the bids. Vice Mayor Jerry Wiley seconded his motion, but it failed for lack of majority support.

Von Gausig made a final successful motion to table the bids until Sept. 14 and schedule a work session on the matter for that same date.

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