County approves $848K for Paddock Club remodel; loan documents for grandstands

Cascade County Commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve a $848,519 contract to Dick Olson Construction to remodel the Paddock Club at Montana ExpoPark.

The bid is nearly $100,000 over estimates since the original plan was to use the existing bathrooms, but during the demolition work, the county discovered that they weren’t on a good foundation, according to Brian Clifton, county public works director.

Grandstands demolished, Paddock Club on commission agenda today

So now the project includes redoing the bathrooms as well and firming up their foundation, Clifton said.

To adjust for the additional cost, Clifton said the county has a few options.

Paddock Club to be remodeled along with grandstand project at Expo Park

The Paddock Club remodel should be done by March or April, Clifton said, and depending on how the department budget looks at that point, they may delay installing some of the kitchen equipment or other fixtures until the next budget cycle.

The facility would still be operational at that point, he said.

Otherwise, they may delay some other projects such as a water main replacement to the next budget year.

Community presentation on Expo Park improvement proposal moved to Wednesday

During the commission meeting, there was little discussion among commissioners and no public comment on the contract.

The Paddock Club is being reconstructed in conjunction with the grandstands replacement project at ExpoPark and during the meeting, commissioners also approved the loan conditions for the county’s $2 million intercap loan through the Montana Board of Investments.

The loan will partially finance the roughly $2.5 million grandstand project and the county is preparing to request the first draw from the loan of $1.38 million for costs already incurred.

The current interest rate on the loan is 3.15 percent and the term of the loan is 10 years, according to Mary Embleton, county budget officer.

The MBOI updates the interest rate annually in March and the rates have varied between 1 percent in 2009 and 4.25 percent in 2009, Embleton told commissioners.

Commissioner Jim Larson said the project is “a matter of need.”

Commissioner Jane Weber said the grandstands were usable, “but the probability of them becoming unsafe was on the horizon” and the county couldn’t predict when that would happen.

Replacing them now, she said, allowed the county to have a usable facility at all times.

Most damage to the grandstands occurred over the winter months, Commissioner Joe Briggs said, and there was no guarantee what condition they’d be in come spring when there wouldn’t be time to make repairs if needed before the fair.

There was no public comment on the action.