Lions report $34K raised for Pinney Pool

Council continues to explore options to assist community in pool restoration

Lions report $34K raised for Pinney PoolLocal contractor Chuck Cordell asks the members of the Ridgecrest City Council for support on the effort to re-open Pinney Pool — Photo by Laura Austin

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By BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

Parks and Recreation Director Jason Patin gave a project update to Ridgecrest City Council on Wednesday when he discussed some hurdles regarding the city’s involvement in the restoration of Pinney Pool. While local contractors are lined up to donate time and in-kind services, the city still has to go out to bid for the project.

City Attorney Lloyd Pilchen said the council can take an official action to accept funds that are offered, but ultimately the pool is a city project and is subject to standard requests for proposals and prevailing wages.

“We don’t see a way to get around that,” said Pilchen. “If there are contractors who say, ‘We are going to do all this work for you,’ they still have to pay their workers and it’s still a public works project.”

Patin reiterated that the laws are in place specifically so people don’t try to work around prevailing wages.

Chuck Cordell, a contractor who has helped spearhead local efforts to repair the pool, said his firm recently did a project for the Ridgecrest Charter School with the same restrictions as the city.

He said the school leased the contract out to Cordell, and the school “bought” the project back upon completion.

City Manager Ron Strand said city staff would get in touch with Cordell to see if that is an option for the city.

“We really need to look at that,” said Cordell. “We can have enough money backed up so we can pay prevailing wage if we need to. What I’m asking is, as a community, come together and try to get this done. We’re facing the hottest summer ever in California and the kids have nowhere to go. We just want to get it done.”

Stephen Morgan of the Ridgecrest Lions reported that, in conjunction with Ridgecrest Shoutouts! more than $34,000 has been raised so far with more fundraising still in the works.

“What you have all stated here is absolutely no surprise to me and the Lions Club has already been discussing it,” he said.

“We look forward to partnering with the city. We do realize that this is going to be a long-term fundraising project.

“We would love any help anyone can give us.”

Morgan said the community shound keep eyes out for “Pennies for Pinney Pool” fundraising buckets coming to local businesses. See future editions for updates.

Story First Published: 2018-08-17