Lacamas Lodge construction contract approved

Vote occurred after loan agreement with state is OK'd

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Pictured is an architect's rendering of the future Lacamas Lake Lodge, which will be built on the site of what was formerly the Camas Moose Lodge. Construction on the $1.9 million project is expected to get underway in July.

A Vancouver company has been awarded the contract to construct Lacamas Lake Lodge and Conference Center.

Last night, the Camas City Council approved the $1.813 million contract with JWC Construction by a vote of 6-0. Councilwoman Melissa Smith had an excused absence.

The city had received three other bids, ranging from $1.844 million to $2.124 million. The engineer’s estimate was $1.787 million.

Construction is scheduled to begin in July, and the lodge and conference center are expected to open to the public in early 2014.

Financing for the project will be provided by a loan through the Washington State Local Option Capital Asset Lending Program and $350,000 from the Friends of the Community Center.

Prior to approving the construction contract, the council voted 6-0 to authorize the city to enter into a local financing lease with the State Local Option Capital Asset Lending Program in the amount of $1.85 million plus related financing costs.

“It’s basically a loan agreement,” Camas Public Works Director Eric Levison said, after acknowledging that City Attorney Roger Knapp had “given his blessing” to the ordinance.

The annual payments for a 15-year loan will be approximately $160,000. Park impact fees and/or real estate excise taxes will be committed to repay the loan.

After the votes of approval, Mayor Scott Higgins thanked the city’s parks and recreation and public works staff for their work on getting the project to this point.

“I think it is a very significant project for our community,” he said.

The 5,000 square foot building will consist of an event space, two meeting rooms, office space, kitchen, restrooms, storage, a covered patio and a 60-foot long dock. The facility, located adjacent to Heritage Park, will also feature a fireplace, vaulted ceilings and large windows.

The operating costs for the new facility are expected to be $60,000 per year. Approximately $17,500 has been set aside for this expense in the 2013 budget.

The former Moose Lodge building was razed by Camas city work crews during the first week in April.