By Sheryl Marsh
The Decatur Daily
Construction of a 1,200-seat pavilion at Ingalls Harbor could begin this week after the Morgan County Commission gave its approval Tuesday for the city of Decatur to borrow $1.6 million from the Regional Landfill.
The commission unanimously adopted a resolution that included a clause forbidding the city from asking the county to contribute to future operational costs of the landfill until the loan is repaid. The loan is for 15 years.
Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau President Tami Reist, who addressed the commission about the project during a work session, left satisfied.
"We're going to get a purchase order and start construction," she said. "It could start tomorrow (today)."
Reist said she plans to promote the pavilion to attract major events to the city.
The 26,000-square-foot facility is expected to hold up to 700 tables.
The construction contract will be between the city and Fite Building Co., which was the low bidder for the project.
The total estimated cost is $3.6 million.
Reist told the commission that the city pledged to lend $2 million for the pavilion.
Landfill Director Rickey Terry reassured the commission that the loan will not affect the landfill's operating costs.
The landfill has about $4 million in certificates of deposit and $13 million in liquid assets.
Chairman Ray Long said the pavilion will benefit all residents.
"I think everybody in the county can enjoy it," Long said.
"I'm glad we're in a situation where money is available to lend to projects like this."
Decatur Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Dunlap said he hopes to have a contract ready for Mayor Don Stanford to sign today.