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Indoor Rec Complex Financing, City Manager Contract and Trick-or-Treat Topics Monday for City Council

After years of planning and discussion, Bridgeport City Council plans to unveil details pertaining to the city’s forthcoming Indoor Sports and Recreation Complex on Oct. 22.

This coming Monday’s Council meeting will feature, among other items of business, discussion about advanced construction, finance and management of the facility.

“What it basically boils down to is that it has taken this much time to put all the pieces together and now we're going back to work on one piece at a time,” said Mayor Andy Lang. “First was the design process, then budgeting all the work and now we’re prepared for Crews & Associates to get our pricing. With all that in motion, we’ll be stepping back and talking about how to manage the place.” Much of that discussion will likely take place in executive session, Lang said.

Council plans to adopt a resolution Monday evening authorizing Crews & Associates, Inc. as placement agent to solicit proposals for private sales tax revenue bonds from prospective purchasers in connection with the complex.

“Once the budget numbers correlate with what we can afford to build, their job is to shop it and get options on how to finance it,” Lang said. “Once the city establishes a number, they round up the statistics and head to the banking market, explaining the project and seeing what is offered.”

Another item of new business scheduled for discussion at Monday’s meeting is the city manager’s contract. Lang simply said the contract hasn’t been discussed in a while and is due for discussion.

An annual City Council business issue – but always one which draws much interest from the community – is the announcement of the evening Bridgeport will recognize as trick-or-treat night. As is most often the case, Oct. 31 – which this year falls on a Wednesday - is Council’s choice. If the vote swings affirmative, trick-or-treat will take place 6-7:30 p.m. on that evening.

Bridgeport’s governing body will also consider and act on future funding requests from the Bridgeport High School chapter of Drug Free Clubs of America, as well as for a proposed Bridgeport Middle School chapter. At the Sept. 10 City Council meeting, Council heard from Anita Hornor and Emma Romano, sponsor and member, respectively, of the BHS chapter. Hornor thanked Council for its financial support over the past few years and talked about the chapter’s growth since it began. She shared with Council her plans to take the club countywide on a high school level and her desire to implement a chapter at BMS. From a student perspective, Romano said the club is not only important, but potentially lifechanging. Council member Bob Greer thereafter proposed that Council continue to fund the high school club and financially support a proposed middle school club. The cost per initial drug testing is $57 per student and Greer proposed that Council fund that cost for 250 BHS students and 150 BMS students. He asked that the matter be placed on a future Council agenda. “If everybody agrees at the next meeting and if less than 400 students sign up this year in both facilities, at least the money is there,” said Greer during the Sept. 10 meeting.

Also at Monday night’s meeting, Council will present a proclamation for declaring October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and hold a public hearing regarding the request of Ron and Jane Diamond to abandon an alley parallel to their Grand Avenue property.

At the Sept. 10 meeting, Director of Community Development Andrea Kerr addressed Council with the request.

“The abandonment is just for a portion of the alley – beside the house (402 Grand Avenue),” Kerr said. “The city engineer and I thought with Bartlett Street paved half way and it being an alley for many houses down Grand Avenue, we didn’t want to grant an alley abandonment for the back of the house, just for the side portion of the property.”

Kerr said the property owner making the request had received affirmative signatures from owners of surrounding properties.

Council voted affirmatively to grant the abandonment; the first step of the process, with legal notice and a public hearing to follow, after which City Attorney Dean Ramsey will set legal documentation in place.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. Monday, preceded by a 6:30 p.m. work session.