GALION — Galion City Council did not take any action on a resolution of support for the proposed Freese Center athletic complex during its most recent meeting.
Council heard the second reading during the Tuesday, Sept. 14 meeting, but when President Carl Watt asked for a vote on Resolution No. 2021-15, no members made a motion. The measure will now go to its third reading at an upcoming meeting. It was first placed on the Council’s agenda on Aug. 24, but no action was taken during that meeting, either.
The Freese Center project is proposed as a capital improvement project for the City of Galion with a request for $5 million in financial support from the Egbert M. Freese Foundation, according to the resolution.
Galion Port Authority Board member Chad Miller said the original cost estimate presented to City Council was approximately $12.5 million, which included “soft opening costs” and operating losses for the first three years. He told Council that the updated construction cost estimate provided by J&F Construction is now just over $10 million, which is an increase of between $1.5 million to $2 million.
Miller said the increased construction estimate brings the updated project estimate to approximately $14.5 million.
“What J&F has let us know is that all of this increase is being driven by the cost of metal; so steel. It’s a steel building,” Miller said. “What they’ve seen in the cost of steel is similar to what most of us are familiar with, say, with the cost of lumber or other housing goods that have peaked and started to come back down. There is a general feeling that we are seeing some more transitory inflation when it comes to steel prices, but there are a lot of factors in this building that are impacted.
“It’s the structure. It’s the sheeting around the building itself,” Miller added. “The HVAC and electrical, all of that is impacted by the cost of metal currently.”
Miller said he hopes steel and other material prices will begin to decrease soon. He said steel prices prior to the COVID-19 pandemic were approximately $400 per ton and current prices are around $1,300 per ton.
Galion City Council will hold its next meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 28 in Council Chambers at the Galion Municipal Building. The meeting will be livestreamed on The City of Galion Facebook page. For information about Galion City Council, contact the council clerk at 419-468-9557 or go to galion.city.
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