EDITOR'S NOTE: The city of Wood River on Thursday released a frequently asked questions list about the Roundhouse and a new recreation center.
Will the Roundhouse be demolished?
No. The city has recently passed a resolution in favor of saving the Roundhouse. The City Council never approved plans to demolish the Roundhouse. References to a grant application showing the Roundhouse removed from a site plan are irrelevant. The grant was for the construction of a recreation center only. Nothing else on that site plan has any bearing on the grant application.
Did the city apply for a grant to help build the recreation center?
Yes, the city applied for a grant that would save $2.5 million on only the construction of the recreation center.
Did the city obligate itself to tearing down the Roundhouse in its IDNR PARC grant application?
No, the application deals strictly with the construction of the new recreation center. Anything referenced for other parts of the site are irrelevant to the application and in no way obligates the city to follow. The note refer- encing tearing down the Roundhouse was simply an early version of a master site plan which was never approved. The city has since taken steps to save the Roundhouse, as is.
Did the city of Wood River put the advisory question to Save the Round House/not build a recreation center on the ballot?
No, the city of Wood River did not put this referendum on the ballot. A citizen-driven group collected signatures to put this on the ballot.
Does the city have to abide by the outcome of the advisory question on the ballot?
No, this is simply an advisory referendum and is not legally binding.
Did the YMCA ever offer financial assistance to fund a recreation center in Wood River?
No, the YMCA never offered financial assistance to build a recreation center in Wood River.
What is the cost of the new recreation center?
The total estimate for the entire project including design, engineering, construction management, and construction is $7.5 million.
Are property taxes going up to pay for this? Where is the money coming from to pay for the recreation center?
No, the project will be completely funded by the 1 percent sales tax.
The sales tax was passed by the citizens of Wood River in April 2019. The city has been collecting the sales tax since July 2019.
Are other projects being completed with the 1 percent sales tax?
Yes, the city currently has three flood relief projects planned with the new sales tax revenues: one in the State Street area to separate storm sewer from sanitary sewer, one in the Sixth Street area to remove approximately 180 homes from the 100-year flood zone, which would allow those homes not to pay for flood insurance; and one just east of the Kia dealership, which will remove the rest of that area from the 100 year flood zone and allow the property to become available for commercial development.
Why does the city need a new recreation center?
The only current indoor facility the city has for recreation is the Roundhouse. The Roundhouse was intended to be a community center. The city is restricted as to what programs can be offered at the Roundhouse due to its small size and configuration. A new recreation center would allow for more variety in what can be offered to the citizens, especially children, of Wood River.
Where will the new recreation center be located?
The new recreation center will be on the vacant lot directly north of the Roundhouse.
Were “no bid” construction contracts issued to construct the new recreation center?
No. Construction bidding does not take place until after the building is designed. An architect and engineering firm were hired as consultants to design the new recreation center and oversee its construction.
Can site plans and ideas change?
Yes, the City Council, along with staff recommendations, will have the final say on the layout for the new facility.
Is the Roundhouse considered a historic building?
No, according to the Illinois State Historical Society, the Roundhouse is not a historic building.