This is an updated artist rendition of the Pelican Rapids pool and aquatic center, provided by Design Intent Architecture.
The pool is designed for a 274 person capacity, with water slide, multi-use bath house facility, and other water park features that are aimed at making the facility a “destination” attraction for Pelican Rapids.

First notice published this week; city hopes to zero in on costs to
refine financing plans

Advertisements for bids on the Pelican Rapids aquatic center and pool are published, and city will be anxiously await the bid opening November 12. 

The call for bids on the project is more or less a trial balloon, in an effort to acquire a more firm cost estimate. 

The city is investigating a range of funding sources—including a $1.5 million request from the state legislature’s 2022 bonding bill. 

The first bid notice appears in this edition of the Pelican Rapids Press. 

There is a catch with state bonding money. 

By accepting state funds, the city would fall under the state’s “prevailing wages” requirements. 

By some estimates, paying “prevailing wages,” which are somewhat skewed by higher wages in the metro area, could drive up labor costs by 25 to 30 percent. 

Scott DeMartelaere, Design Intent Architects, was at the Oct. 12 city council meeting to discuss the project. He has been the architect for the project, which has been about eight years in the making. 

Two bid forms will be included in the packet—one based on statewide prevailing wages; and one with the expectation of regional pay. 

Prevailing wage requirements, especially with the labor shortage, “could make a $4 million project a $5 million project,” said Don Solga, city administrator. Wages are not the only factor, noted Solga, but also prevailing benefits. 

Hypothetically, the math could determine that the city could be better off financing the project conventionally—and avoid prevailing wage requirements, by not accepting money from the state legislature. 

 Labor is only part of the cost of the ambitious pool and aquatic center project. Materials will include specialized swim pool equipment and fixtures, plus a new bath house—which will be designed to serve pool patrons, but also rest rooms for the general public and the neighboring city campground. 

“The supply chain is such a mess,” said Councilman Steve Strand, expressing concern that global shortages and shipping delays could have a local impact. 

But architect DeMartelaere said that the pool project, with virtually all the materials U.S. made, and available locally and regionally, should be somewhat insulated against national and international shortages.

The call for bids are essentially a test to establish a more clear price range. With costs more refined, the city will be in a better position to plan, and also seek other funding options. 

“We’re absolutely committed to the pool project,” noted Councilman Curt Markgraf. “But this round of bidding does not commit us…were advertising for bids helps to confirm costs.” 

About $2.6 million has been donated or pledged to the project—including about $1.6 million in contributions from generous donors.