April 2, 2011 in Washington Voices

One good surprise

Construction bids far below park’s expected cost
By The Spokesman-Review
 
Map of this story's location

Spokane Valley Parks and Recreation Director Mike Stone was nearly giddy with delight at Tuesday’s council meeting as he detailed how the bids for the construction of Greenacres Park came in about $500,000 less than expected.

The city planned to pay $1.5 million to build the first phase, and the lowest bid came in at $937,973. The bid is so low the city was able to add in some items that were not expected to be built in the first phase, including turf and irrigation on the entire 8.3 acres at Boone Avenue and Long Road. “We didn’t really want to have half the park unfinished,” said Stone.

Concrete will be used instead of asphalt on the perimeter path system. It provides a much better and longer-lasting surface, Stone said. What the bid does not include is a $100,000 restroom and about $90,000 in street curbing. Utility poles on the site will be removed and electrical lines will be buried. The total price tag will be $1.2 million and construction is expected to be complete in the fall. “This is all well within the budget,” he said.

“I think this particular park is going to be a gem,” said Mayor Tom Towey.

The council is scheduled to vote next week on awarding the construction contract.

In other business, the council unanimously approved the procedure for filling Bob McCaslin’s council seat. It is similar to the process the council used to replace Rose Dempsey, but the position will be advertised for a shorter time because most people are aware the vacancy exists, said City Manager Mike Jackson. “We don’t see that as a problem.”

The city will be accepting applications through April 19. The council will vote during the April 26 meeting on which candidates to interview. Those selected will be interviewed during the May 10 council meeting. A final vote to appoint a new council member is expected May 17.

The council also specified that anyone who applied for Dempsey’s seat does not need to submit a second application but would simply have to send a letter to the city clerk indicating a desire to be considered. Whoever is appointed to the seat must run for re-election in November if they want to keep the seat.

Councilman Bill Gothmann noted that the timeline would give the person appointed some time to file in June for the November election. “This is a good schedule,” he said.

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