City Council Approves Payment for New Heating and Cooling System at Schertz Civic Center

Work on a new $1.1 million heating and cooling system at the Schertz Civic Center is expected to begin this month following final approval from city council on March 1.

This approval was widely expected after the council gave its blessing on January 11 to purchase $250,000 worth of equipment for the project. Purchasing the equipment first, even before the design work was complete, was necessary, said Scott McClelland, the city’s assistant director of public works, so that contractor bids could be accepted and work can start earlier.

These actions saved six weeks of lead time, McClelland reported. “Everything is working well and the units are in order,” he told the council.

Given that design work was completed in February by M&S Engineering, the new system should be operational by early June before the worst of the summer heat arrives, he added.

Total financing for the construction contract is expected to be $1.15 million, including the actual installation of the system by Seguin-based Sullivan Contracting Services. The official awarding of the project to this firm was due to take place at the March 8 council meeting, after the Northside Herald press deadline.

Funding for the new heating and cooling system will come from the city’s hotel occupancy tax reserves, which now total nearly $2.25 million.

The works include the removal of the existing system which was installed in 2006, but the reuse of part of the existing conduits. “It will eliminate some of the disruption we will have during the project, but also reduce construction times and costs,” McClelland told the board last October.

The approval of the project was unanimous, five votes without objection. Councilor Tim Brown was not present at the meeting.

In other actions, the city council, without discussion, unanimously awarded $129,000 to 15 local businesses, the latest distribution of American Rescue Plan Act federal funds allocated to Schertz to help hard-hit small businesses. by the COVID pandemic.

Last year, the council decided that up to $1 million would go toward the aid, City Manager Mark Browne said, and by the Dec. 1 deadline, the city had received 56 applications for funding.

A committee to review the nominations was established and its members included Mayor Ralph Gutierrez, two members of the city council, the president of the Schertz-Cibolo-Selma area chamber of commerce, Maggie Titterington, and the executive director of Schertz Economic Development Corp., Adrian Perez.

Grants totaling $302,500 were approved for 22 companies on Jan. 11, but incomplete documentation, including justifications for requested financial assistance, delayed review of the additional 15 applications, Browne said.

Among the companies that finally approved funding on March 1 were Apple Dental, 17323 Interstate 35 ($21,000); Good Shepherd Columbus Club, 509 Schertz Parkway ($20,000); and HP Printing Services, 104 FM 78 ($17,000).

“We had 19 applications that did not meet the criteria,” Browne told the board. “It was for several reasons. Either the companies were located outside the town of Schertz or they did not provide the required documentation we requested.

He added that the council’s vote on the 15 companies closes the federal COVID small business relief program in Schertz. A total of $431,500 was distributed to 37 local businesses.

Council, without discussion, also formally approved both the closure of the Wendy Swan Memorial Park swimming pool in the city’s Northcliffe subdivision and funding nearly $290,000 to build a community wading pool there.

Turned over to the city in 2003, the small pool, due to COVID restrictions, could only accommodate 12 people at a time and has actually been closed for almost two years.

The proposed wading pool will be built to accommodate the size of the old pool and will utilize existing filtration equipment as well as adjacent toilets and picnic facilities already in place.

Construction costs will be paid from the city’s reserve fund, according to city officials. However, due to a now canceled $72,000 annual management contract with the YMCA of San Antonio, and the fact that paid lifeguards will no longer be needed there, project funds are expected to be returned to the reserves of the city ​​within about four years,” said Lauren Shrum. , the city’s director of parks, recreation and community services.

Shrum said construction is expected to begin on the splash pad in late April with expected completion in June, just in time for a grand summer opening.