If Holland’s tentative decision stands, the city of Tracy will have to forgo the $10 million and 16 acres The Surland Cos. was set to contribute toward a water park as part of the agreement.
That could spell the end of water park plans for the foreseeable future.
“The future of that project is tied to (Ellis),” said Mayor Brent Ives. “Absent that $10 million, there’s not enough money to create a viable swim center.”
Estimates put the price tag of the center’s first phase at $15.7 million, and the cost for a complete swim center was guessed at $30.8 million.
Without Surland’s money, the city has $3.24 million set aside for an aquatics center, according to a staff report presented to the City Council in January.
That money is set to pay for $1.3 million worth of designs for the park — designs the council ordered finished in full at the same January meeting.
When Holland’s decision came down, the plans were 20 percent done and on track to be finished by July, according to Rod Buchanan, director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. But that ruling — which stripped the majority of the swim center’s anticipated budget and land from the city — is a game-changer.
“We’re still trying to figure out the best course of action to not spend extra money in the design process,” Buchanan said.
He added that the city doesn’t yet know what would be the easiest and most cost-effective option: finishing the plans now and altering them later if needed, or putting them on hold until there’s more surety about the water park’s future.
Also, the plans are site-specific, according to Buchanan, and it’s unknown what part of them could be used if the aquatics center were built somewhere else.
For now, he said, he and the park are in wait-and-see mode, just like those with hopes for the proposed Ellis swim center.
“A lot of this hinges on what the next steps are,” he said.