Haller Park Splash Pad re-bid would delay project to next year

ARLINGTON – No one wants to be the one to break the news to the kids, but if you were hoping to cool off at a new splash pad in Arlington you will have to wait to next year.

Unfortunately, it will be another summer of driving to the Spray Park in Marysville.

City staff will ask the City Council Monday to reject the lone bid that the project received May 10, which exceeded the engineer’s estimate of $760,000 by more than $500,000.

City Administrator Paul Ellis said the council is being asked to re-advertise the project with a “must be completed by” date of March 21, 2019, rather than setting a fixed number of days, which should catch the attention of contractors who are already up to their eyeballs in road, utility and other construction projects.

“We really were pushing to get the splash pad done this year, and not have to delay for another year,” he said.

Mayor Barb Tolbert said it’s unfortunate that kids and families will have to wait longer to splash about in Haller Park.

“We started the rehabilitation of Haller Park four years ago, but when the splash pad opens next year, we believe it is something that the citizens will be proud of,” she said.

Splash pad construction will include installation of a 3,300-square-foot spray deck with additional seating areas, recreation manager Sarah Lopez said. The surface is river-themed with colored concrete representing a river, and themed equipment, including river otters, salmon, cattails and ducks.

The project includes interactive water features, sidewalk connections from the restrooms and playground areas to the splash pad, and a building to house the park’s circulation and filtration system, Lopez said.

The Arlington community, city and others jumped into the project enthusiastically with both feet, raising enough funds to design, procure and build the spray pad.

After receiving a $500,000 donation from the Stillaguamish Tribe and $150,000 contributed by the Arlington Rotary Club, as well as a grant from the state, the city had all the funding in place to start planning and designing the splash pad.

Arlington’s spray park was among many projects funded in part by monies included in the state’s delayed capital budget, which lawmakers didn’t pass until January. That resulted in several recipients scrambling to get their projects to bid in an already super-charged construction market.

“It’s a very tight bidding environment out there right now,” Arlington Public Works director Jim Kelly said.

Kelly said that much of the turf, irrigation and landscaping portions of renovations have been done through volunteer efforts.

Ellis said Haller Park is well-suited for winter construction and drains well.

In other business May 21:

• City staff plans to apply for a state grant that combined with matching city funds would help renovate Evans Baseball Field. The project would re-roof the restrooms, add bleachers and a backstop, repair the batting cage and add wood chips at the playground.

•Approve buying $20,096 in equipment for the city’s TV21 cable channel to broadcast information, as well as to stream to the city website. The equipment is funded through public, education and government revenue that Arlington receives from Comcast.

•OK an agreement with the League of Oregon Cities – National Purchasing Partners to potentially get a better deal on various contracts for public goods and services.

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