Two weeks ago Crestwood aldermen asked staff to prepare a contract with their current aquatic center operator, despite having been outbid by a different management company.
Tuesday three of the aldermen who rejected the lower bidder asked to reconsider their decision in an effort to save the city approximately $34,000 over the course of the contract.
Dozens of supporters for the pool's current management company, Lifeguards Unlimited, were present at January and February board meetings to ask that the city retain LGU. On Feb. 12 aldermen Jerry Miguel, Daniel Tennessen, John Foote and Mimi Duncan voted against a contract with Midwest Pool Management--despite their not-to-exceed bid coming in $34,100 less than LGU's.
LGU supporters argued that current employees may have to transfer to other pools to continue their employment, or pay additional fees to join MPM.
MPM operated the city’s pool from 2002 to 2004, but were underbid by Lifeguard Unlimited in 2005. While the rejection of the MPM contract appeased LGU supporters, it drew the ire of several others more fiscally minded.
Read more: Aquatic Center Discussion Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea
Tuesday Miguel made the motion to reconsider MPM contract, an intention echoed by both Foote and Tennessen.
“On one hand there are the parents and lifeguards who want to stay with LGU. On the other hand, there is the bidding process, the work of park board, volunteers and the additional cost to tax payers,” Miguel said.
“I’ve decided that the cost to the city, both monetary and otherwise, outweighs the case presented by the lifeguards and LGU.”
Foote, who emphasized two weeks ago that going with LGU would mean cuts elsewhere, said aldermen are forced to bow to economic pressures.
Aldermen voted 6-1 to reconsider MPM. Since the MPM contract was not included in Tuesday’s regular agenda, it will need to be re-introduced at the board’s next meeting.
Duncan and Schlink commended members of the audiences who participated in the three discussions on the topic—including about a dozen students currently employed with LGU.
Schlink thanked the speakers for “having us pause and make sure we were looking at every doc, every word that was provided.”
A representative with MPM said they would welcome any employees from LGU who wished to stay in Crestwood.