COTTONWOOD -- Cottonwood City Council voted 5-2 Tuesday to allocate $24,000 in undesignated reserves for new window curtains for the Cottonwood Community Clubhouse.
Renovations on the clubhouse – formerly known as the Cottonwood Civic Center – began in 2013. The total cost of the project so far has added up to $1.2 million. The city has received $744,088 in grants making the net cost to the city $461,824, according to staff.
According to Recreation Services Supervisor Hezekiah Allen, the curtains are the final missing piece in getting the facility open to the public.
Cottonwood City Manager Ron Corbin anticipates a soft opening in May. He said the undesignated reserves is “money available to spend” and “isn’t currently designated to go anywhere else.”
Vice Mayor Tosca Henry and Council Member Ruben Jauregui were the two dissenting votes.
“I support the project, as you know, the general idea, the concept, how it was started, but as I’ve said every single time we discuss these expenditures it keeps growing and growing and the end is still not in sight,” Henry said. “We still don’t have numbers for the landscaping. I haven’t seen numbers for the tables and chairs ... I don’t think it’s an appropriate use of taxpayer funds to spend this much money on the window coverings.”
Henry suggested opening the clubhouse now, and then add window curtains once the facility starts generating revenue.
“We just heard during a call to the public that (Verde Valley Homeless Coalition) was turning people away for lack of funding,” she said. “There’s got to be a different way to find money for this project.”
Jauregui shared Henry’s sentiments that now may not be an appropriate time to “spend this money.”
Allen noted that Parks & Rec put it in a request in last year’s budget for the funding of the curtains and it was denied.
“We want to get the facility open and running and making revenue and you only get once chance at that grand opening,” he said. “We want the facility to be used for weddings and corporate events and community events and be a facility we’re all proud of.”
Mayor Tim Elinski said he shared Henry’s frustration in the cost of the project but the curtains are “an important part of its completion” as curtains protect the facility from UV light degradation as well as well as act as a sound defending tool for special events.
Recently appointed Council Member Jackie Nairn said the facility could be used to help organizations like VVHC for fundraising events.
“…Give them rental or seriously reduced rentals so that they could fundraise and draw on some money that way,” she said. “At this point I could support spending money on the curtains if it means we will be able to open up the space for those agencies.”