Outdoor Pool & Splash Pad Contract Cancelled

During the September 15th Salida City Council meeting, construction of the Outdoor Pool and Splash Pad were added to the Hot Springs Locker Room Project. It was approved by a 4-3 vote. Last Tuesday (12/1/15), the "new" council canceled that contract with only Eileen Rogers dissenting after making the following statements.

I am in opposition to canceling the Soaking Pool Contract with DSI. The majority of the previous council members determined that there was sufficient evidence to approve that amendment. Diesland Structures Incorporated has been the only bidder on most construction projects at our Hot Springs Pool and has performed in an outstanding manner. Tom, Keith, Jim and I continue to believe that the added outdoor features are desired and supported by a large number of Salida citizens. The recent city wide survey results, by the MM, confirms our beliefs. Of ALL of the city projects, the Hot Springs Pool improvements were voted number one in importance.

Disagreeing with any city council decision is appropriate and acceptable behavior. I’ve certainly gotten used to a lot of that during these past six years! However, I do find it difficult to understand why the citizen, who filed this complaint against the council and DSI, was quoted in the MM as stating that he fully supported the additional outdoor features.

The threat of litigation, in this case, appears to me to be a bit of an “I gotcha” challenge aimed directly at Tom, Keith, Jim and me, and is a cunning attempt at intimidation. If the council easily overturns this decision, I suspect that we will be opening ourselves to similar tactics in the future. We have the funds, let’s get it done ASAP.


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  • Let me see if I can posit an explanation. I have not talked to Mr. Tafoya about this, or much of anything, but as I understand it the general complaint was about process not substance.

    In my line of work I see that people are more willing to accept when decision go against them if they are convinced that the process was fair and legal. That is what I think the heart of the issue was here. What I heard was that people thought the contract was so large that it should be put out to bid, according to Colorado Law. Whether or not to go forward with the project does not seem to be at issue at this point, as far as I can tell.

    As I understand the latest action by council was to put the project out to bid, not to cancel it. It appears the project is still going forward. If, as you say, DSI is the only bidder then we will be right back where we were, only without the threat of litigation. It seems to me that only person who might be negatively impacted in this scenario is the city's legal counsel, who I am sure will find other things to do. DSI will still get the contract, the project will go forward, the city will save on legal fees... This seems like a reasonable and prudent solution, why fight a lawsuit when you don't have to? What am I missing?

  • I agree with Bill's comments that it was the lack of a bid process and automatic ""shoe-in" for the DSI that was unacceptable for the community. Most are in agreement to have the improvements made in a timely fashion with a call for a bid and a process to move this project forward.

  • I agree that it was the process that caused the most concern. I hope you are correct that the project will move forward. Many in our current council have given little support to the pool in the past.

  • edited December 2015

    It is a real departure from normal, rational and lawful processes for the City to add on a $600k "soaking pool and spray feature" as a "change order" to a $400k locker room project.

    No plan, no construction drawings, and no engineering calculations existed for the soaking pool / spray feature when the contract amendment was awarded. No other options were considered, such as putting the soaking pools closer to the source of hot water. Staff says that there's plenty of hot water, yet the pool has very often suffered from too little hot water since the Poncha Springs - Salida water pipe was replaced. Perhaps the conflict between "too little" and "plenty" may be easily explained, but at the very least it should be, and somebody should sign off on (and own) the claimed solution when and if the "soaking pool / spray feature" comes before Council again.

    A number of people presently pushing to rush this soaking pool / spray feature project may have no idea of all the money - between $1 and $2 million, as I recall from observation - that has been thrown at and wasted on the pool because of bad planning, negligent engineering, error in construction, and other bad processes over just the last 16 years, or of how many YEARS the pool has been closed during that 16-year period due to these same problems.

    One can say "Citizens are playing gotchya." On the other hand, one might also say, "The City should follow statutes and its own policies in order to ensure proper planning, decrease the likelihood of waste, increase the likelihood of success, and provide proper and appropriate information to the citizens upon whom the City has the power to impose taxes." People have different eyes, looking at the same set of facts.

  • Wait a minute Jeff. "The citizens upon whom the City has the power to impose taxes." Quote from above, seems to ignore that TABOR still exists. Many of your other points are not inaccurate.

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