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Committee: reissue Yucca Center RFPs; Infrastructure Committee recommends again issuing requests for proposals

The Yucca Recreation center was closed completely in 2016. A request for proposal was denied on Jan. 22 by the Infrastructure Committee and the Roswell City Council voted in the March 15 meeting to consider reopening the request for proposals. On Monday afternoon, the Infrastructure Committee voted unanimously, with some changes to the requirements, to recommend this request for proposals to the full council next month. (Alison Penn Photo)

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The City of Roswell’s Infrastructure Committee voted Monday to recommend again seeking proposals for the sale of the city-owned Yucca Recreation Center.

The city is seeking proposals that include development or redevelopment of the Yucca Center property that complies with the city’s 2016 Master Plan, which can be accessed on the city’s website.

City Engineer Louis Najar said the first issuance of the request for proposals (RFP) in January was terminated after only one submission, which was denied. A decision was made to proceed with demolition of the Yucca Center, but the city council decided at the March 15 meeting to reissue the RFP.

“I thought we had a good RFP the first time,” Najar said. “I am making it a little bit more explicit and (adding a) reserve price. That is what I understood council wanted at the council meeting, was to add those corrections or clarifications.”

The committee’s agenda stated that a building evaluation from September 2014 would be included with the RFP. The agenda also stated the building was abated and has continued to deteriorate since a 2014 evaluation.

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Saying a significant amount of progress can be made in two years, Najar referenced the progress of the Recreation and Aquatic Center, set to open in early 2019. Najar said the clawback also encourages substantial completion and serious proposals, which the city wants.

Najar said the clawback period of two years for developing the Yucca Center property — and a reserve price of $100,000 on the 2.95 acres of land — was added to the re-issued RFP. The reserve price was determined with help from Planning Manager Bill Morris’ research of county records, according to Najar.

Morris said mandatory demolition within a year was important — but Najar reminded the committee that the building may not be demolished, depending on the proposals.

Councilor Caleb Grant encouraged requiring demolition within 12 months if the plan is to demolish the center and said he approved of the changes — but questioned the reserve price. Councilor Judy Stubbs, who is not a member of the committee but can participate in the discussion, asked for a financial plan to be required to see if milestones could be added to the clawback time. Kevin Dillon, project manager, said the city can ask for plans with phases in contract documents or something similar.

“In my mind, the idea is if there is something that fits the plan — which is part of what they have to present of the area —I don’t necessarily care about the $100,000 part,” Councilor Grant said. “I just care about them having the actual money to do the project.”

Najar said the reserve price is in place to narrow down qualified proposals with “specific and detailed” financial plans and has room for clarification.

Grant also inquired about a required walkthrough of the facility. Najar said on his own projects, a site inspection is recommended, but not mandatory.

“But their mind might change when they see how dilapidated it is,” Councilor Jeanine Corn Best said after calling a walkthrough wise. “It has gotten worse since then — sorry. You’ve got to walk through and feel it.”

Chairman Juan Oropesa said he agreed with the suggested changes to avoid dissuading people from submitting proposals.

Grant made the motion to send the RFP to the full council with the following changes: requiring a financial plan; clarifying that within the clawback time demolition (if planned) must occur within the first year; making a walkthrough mandatory; and explaining the reserve price may be lowered with a financial impact plan. Councilor Best seconded the motion, which passed 3 to 0. Grant, Best and Oropesa voted — Councilor George Peterson was absent.

City/RISD reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.

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