More details on the timeline for the City’s splash pad project emerged at last week’s City Council meeting. The splash pad will be built in the city’s Buffalo Park.
Speaking to the Council on Oct. 1, Dennis Graham of Olsson Associates said he had talked to various contractors about the project and about what went wrong with the bidding process last year.
One of the issues in the process last time was that contractors didn’t have enough turnaround time. Graham told the Council members that they were much more likely to get bids that fit within their price range if they opened up the time frame a little more.
The members discussed two options to do so. One was to give the contractors a certain number of working days to complete the project once they had begun. The other was to give the contractors a firm end date and allow them to begin work however many days in advance of that they so desired.
Ultimately, the Council decided to require contractors to have the project substantially completed by July 1, with final completion not required until the end of August to allow for seeding the area.
“I wish it would be done in early spring, but, if there’s a difference in bid prices if we give them more time, I think we should do anything we can to optimize the price,” Mayor Mike Dill said.
From here, everything will be handled from Olsson Associates’ Lincoln office. A notice that the city is accepting bids will be published in the Papillion Times on Oct. 9, 16 and 23, and bids will open on Oct. 30. There will be a pre-bid meeting with contractors who are interested in the project.
“Companies try to line up work for the spring in November to January, because prices on the equipment they need tend to increase after the first of the year,” Graham said. “We need to get bids in by the end of November so we can catch them while they still have openings in their schedules.”
Graham will return to speak to the Council again at their first November meeting to present a bid tab with information from all the potential bidders. After discussion and a vote, a contract between the City and the contractor will be signed.
Dill said the splash pad will be easily affordable for the city’s residents.
The city isn’t required to filter, test or treat the water. Apart from spending less than $300 on insurance per year, the only cost to the city will be startup in the spring and winterization at the end of splash-pad season. The contractor will take care of both processes the first year to teach the city how to correctly handle them.
The city will put the caboose that is currently in Buffalo Park up for auction in April to get the park ready for the splash pad’s arrival.
Councilmembers described the caboose as an “eyesore.” The City has had problems with the former train car’s vandalization in the past.