CLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake City Council last night reviewed a proposed letter of intent with the Clear Lake Community School District on the proposed wellness and recreation center project that would be constructed just south of the current high school gymnasium.

City Administrator Scott Flory says the letter of intent would show the community that both entities agree to work in good faith towards a formal partnership and/or sharing agreement related to the center that would mutually benefit the citizens and residents of Clear Lake.  “We agree at some point to execute a formal Chapter 28E agreement, we put in the letter of intent that would occur no later than 30 days following the successful passage of a public referendum proposed by the school district for the calendar year 2020. The letter of intent can be terminated at any time by either party here, or if the referendum would not pass, then the letter of intent would terminate at that point.”

Flory says the school district would lead the design and construction phase and be the lead financing entity for the project.   “In terms of the financing of the building, the school will construct and own the center, and will be the lead financing entity for the overall project. The city, subject to all the statutorily required things that we have to go through, would propose to issue a $700,000 general obligation bond and also a $300,000 contribution from the general fund in support of the project, primarily for costs associated with the elevated walking track, multi-purpose rooms, indoor playground rooms, and areas and other amenities that may yet be determined.”

Flory says the city would lease the new center from the school district and be responsible for its operation.   “The school being the owner of the center and would lease to the city for not less than 25 years following a hearing as required by law. The parties would enter into a 28E agreement that promotes the following collaboration: the city would be responsible for the day-to-day operation to the center, including staffing the facility, cleaning the facility, general maintenance, routine repair; the city would be entitled to any revenue generated by and responsible for any expenses at the rec center.”

The approximate cost of the rec center is just over $10 million. The rest of the funds from the $17 million bond issue that school district voters will decide on March 3rd would be earmarked for other projects at each school building as well as at Lions Field. The Clear Lake council will likely vote on the letter of intent at their December 16th meeting.