GRAND FORKS – Members of the Grand Forks City Council and Park Board Commission will meet once again to discuss the potential for an indoor multi-use sports facility and aquatics center in the city.
The joint meeting will take place at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30, in the city-owned HIVE building downtown.
George Hellyer, executive director of the Grand Forks Park District, said the meeting will focus on a
conducted by BerryDunn/Greenplay over the past year.
The meeting also will go over the finalized operational and maintenance costs associated with the facilities, along with potential ways the city can fund the projects.
The idea of an
indoor multi-use sports facility and aquatics center
has been discussed for years. The idea is to host competitive games or practices with amenities such as a turf field for soccer, football, lacrosse, baseball, softball and similar sports; a running track; courts for basketball, volleyball, pickleball and similar sports. The indoor aquatics center would have a competitive swimming and diving pool, lap pool and other features.
The last time the facilities were discussed in a joint meeting was in
. At that time, council members were presented with the community input that was gathered, the locations where the facilities are proposed to be built and the preferred concepts for each facility.
The preferred location of the indoor sports facility is at the Alerus Center site and the preferred location for the aquatics center is at the Choice Health and Fitness site.
One potential funding option that has been discussed previously is 30-year extension to the existing 0.75% Alerus Center sales tax. That sales tax already brings in an estimated $10 million in collections to go toward debt services and capital needs at the Alerus Center.
Additional funding options for the facilities include private fundraising, bonding and other revenue funding.
Since the last joint meeting, Hellyer said user groups in the community have shared their thoughts on preferred rates for the facilities, which is an additional next step in the process following the feasibility study.
“Some of the rates we based on what other communities are paying for rates, national average, those types of things,” he said. “That’s going to be the challenging part with these user groups. It might be more than what they’re used to paying and we’ll have to figure out if that’s possible if they’re able to pay that amount. Or if it’s not a big deal. That’s where it’s kind of going next.”