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Park project bid process goes to council
The final plans and specifications of the city's Community Park Project will be ready to go to the City Council on Tuesday for authorization to go out to bid on phase one.
There have been rumblings around town that the project is taking a lot more time to process than originally thought. It has been 20 months since the city had the grant funds in hand and could move forward.
"We have until the end of 2017 to complete the project using grant funds," city Planning Consultant John Stoufer said. "There has been a lot involved in getting things to this point. We had to purchase the property, compile a CEQA environmental report, contract with the state, survey and clear the site in preparation for making plans and specifications, and then finalize those plans and specs."
Another source of difficulty for the city is dealing with the elderberry bushes in the park, a plant given golden status because Elderberry Beetle, which are on the state's endangered insect list, may live on the bush.
"Instead of paying the high cost to remove and transfer the bushes to another site, we decided to just leave them where they are and work around them," Stoufer said.
The two-phased project will take place on the park's 18.5 acre site located along the south side of Jewitt Creek between Toomes Avenue and Houghton Avenue on the south side of town.
It is phase one of the project that is scheduled to go out to bid.
"Once the city council authorizes that we can go out to bid, we will conduct a bid walk through for interested contractors prior to bid opening," Stoufer explained. "The bid opening will take place on February 5. We have to go with the lowest qualified bidder and from that point it will take about two months for constru tion to commence."
Phase one includes a lighted, state-of-the-art skateboard and bike park on the Toomes Avenue side of the project, playground, park benches and picnic benches, a gazebo, restrooms and equipment storage, basketball and handball courts.
Stoufer said the city anticipates the bid process for phase two will follow the same type of schedule as phase one starting in 2013 with construction to construct in 2014.
In the meantime, City Manager John Brewer said the competition to name the park is ongoing with a closing date of Nov. 30.
The competition is open to students from the Corning Union Elementary School District, the Corning Union High School District as well as from Richfield, Capay, Kirkwood, Flournoy and Elkins elementary schools.
"We will accept one name from each school," said Mayor Gary Strack. "The winning school will be presented with a large plaque, and each participating school will be recognized also."
Students have been encouraged to submit a name to their school. Each school will then decide on its selection. That choice will be submitted to the council for the final decision.
Brewer said the idea came from the Recreation Commission as a good way to get youngsters involved in the park development process.
The city has already purchased the playground equipment that will be part of the first phase, as well as the gazebo.
Phase two of the project, near Houghton Avenue, includes two lighted soccer fields, snack bar and equipment storage, picnic tables and barbecue areas, and benches.
Corning was one of 62 park grant applications selected for special state funding from a pool of almost 500 applicants, and is the only city in the North State to receive a grant.