GREENVILLE — A plan to renovate a Greenville City Park landmark has hit a snag, according to the city’s Safety/Service Director.
Curt Garrison told Greenville City Council at Tuesday night meeting that all bids solicited by the city to reconstruct the Marling Band Shell exceeded the 10-percent limit of the engineer’s estimate.
“We went back to the drawing board to [see] how we could cut costs. We eliminated the office for the band director. We eliminated an office for the park superintendent. We relocated and simplified the restroom design,” he said, adding the city itself could do the demolition, concrete and landscaping portions of the project.
The base bid for reconstruction of the shell alone is $278,500. Alternate bid for the restroom addition is $117,500. In all, the projected cost for both bids is $396,000. The city had budgeted $300,000 for the project two years ago, leaving the city with the prospect now of funding approximately $104,000 to complete the project.
The band shell project has on hand $164,098.16 in private and business donations, $19,000 from the Lucille Clark Estate fund, and a $150,000 matching grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Garrison noted that the $41,000 cost for design and engineering has largely been paid.
“We have enough money if we want the restrooms,” he said. “We’ll have to raise additional funds or council’s going to have to say we’ll cover that cost.”
Garrison floated the possibility of reopening bidding as a “lump-sum project,” wherein the contractors that bid on the project would provide an overall job cost, but would give the city the ability to see a revised cost if the restrooms option was deducted from the bid.
“I think it’d be best if we bid it all at the same time,” remarked Councilman Tracy Tryon, pointing out it would be more cost efficient for a contractor to have the equipment on hand for an entire project versus breaking it up for separate projects.
When asked if it was financially feasible, City Auditor Roxanne Willman, said, “We have a healthy general fund balance. I’m sure that we could do that.”
Garrison pointed out that donations were made based on a design which included restrooms.
“When we sold this to those that gave money, we sold a concept that it would be the shell and the restrooms,” he said. “But obviously there’s a lot of difference in price from where we first started.”
“I think it’s imperative that we do the restrooms at the same time, because that’s what the public bought into, that’s what they’ve been supporting,” said Tryon. “In reality, if you look at the funds, the city has not put very much skin in the game. The donations and grant is making up the majority of this.”
“I agree with having restrooms, but it just seems like we’re spending a lot of money when it could be spent somewhere else,” Councilman Leon Rogers said.
Garrison offered an alternative plan, in which the city could purchase a mobile restroom trailer at an approximate cost of $75,000 instead of permanent restrooms constructed at the band shell for $117,000.
“We could take this and move it around to any event we have,” he said.
Council agreed by consensus to have legislation presented at the next meeting to rebid the project with the restroom deduct option. Once bids are submitted, council can reconsider the costs and decide which option best fits financially.
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