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City forced to play with ideas for a new park

Bids double what expected

The cost proposals for a park in Deer Ridge subdivision have come in higher than expected, forcing the city to re-examine plans and find ways to cut costs.

A recommendation from the Parks and Annexation Committee on the first phase of the park was expected to be voted on by the council at its regular meeting Monday, but committee chairman Ken Sereno said bids for the project came in “ridiculously high.”

“Chamlin is working with the contractors to see if they can cut,” he said, noting the proposals came in at almost double the cost they were expecting.

In November 2011, Deer Ridge subdivision developers came before the committee requesting a park be developed on the land it dedicated to the city when the subdivision was originally platted. The subdivision, located off of U.S. 6 and Ashton Road, now has about 75 families living in it and has about 175 empty lots.

There is currently not a park within walking or riding distance for kids or families.

At one time, there was no road access to the land designated for the park, so the city could not construct anything, but there is now.

The Morris Lions Club has donated $10,000 to go toward the park.

The tentative layout the committee worked on contained a baseball field, soccer field, walking path, shelter, a space for a future adult fitness area, and multiple sets of play equipment, such as swings and tubes, as well as tables and benches.

Guy Christensen, city engineer with Chamlin and Associates, said after the meeting that the bids for park equipment and site work came in about $94,000 total. The committee had hoped for $45,000 to $50,000.

“The committee directed me to talk to the bidders about what portions we could cut out to lower the cost,” he said.

The Parks and Annexation Committee will meet again at 2 p.m. Friday to discuss Christensen’s discussions with the contractors.

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