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Elizabethtown is soliciting bids for a phase of the Elizabethtown Sports Park that Planning Director Ed Poppe said contains the greatest volume of work.
Bid phase five includes 30 bid packages involving projects ranging from electrical work to sports fields, lighting and bleachers, according to a memo issued by Elizabethtown Planning and Development.
Poppe said the majority of construction work is wrapped up in the fifth phase and estimated another phase will remain once phase five’s projects are approved.
The various projects outlined in phase five will not start at the same time, but Poppe said some of the packages will need to be approved soon for scheduling purposes. For example, some bids are for materials only, and those materials will need to be acquired before work can begin on projects such as sports lighting installation, he said.
The bids are due at 1 p.m. Dec. 2 and Poppe said the city has booked three rooms at Pritchard Community Center so members of the city’s staff, the design team and Jenkins-Essex Construction can open all of the bids at the same time to avoid long waits for bidders.
Some of the projects may be combined in the bidding process, and Poppe said it will take a considerable amount of time to analyze bids.
He presented his findings to Elizabethtown City Council earlier this week, but Councilman Ron Thomas expressed reservation with so many bids being solicited at once.
Thomas said that approach can create the perception that the bidding process is being rushed for approval by the end of the year, which he feels is a mistake.
Incoming Mayor Tim Walker voiced some concern as well and said he believes the council should review the bids over several working sessions before approving them.
Poppe said soliciting all bids for the phase at once can provide a better picture of the cost and scope of work within the phase.
“It’s never been the intent to rush this,” he said. “I think it will allow us to have better recommendations.”
Also, Poppe said he would identify the most critical projects once the bids are received and relay this information to the council. Some projects may receive only one bid, he said, and other reasons could arise in which the city would want to rebid a particular project.
Ultimately, Poppe added, what packages are approved and the timeline for approving them will be dictated by the council’s discretion, he said.
Roughly $5.9 million has been committed to 13 projects approved at the park site so far, including stormwater pollution prevention, earthwork, storm drainage, selective demolition, removal and disposal of an asbestos concrete water line, underground primary communications and cable TV, portable toilets, construction waste disposal, water distribution, sanitary sewer distribution, prefabricated bridge material and irrigation materials, roadways and parking areas and topsoil placement.
Poppe asked the council Monday to amend the roadways, parking and top soil packages to allow for a 15 percent limit on contract changes by administrative approval.
Robards Construction, the company covering earthwork at the park, is progressing steadily, according to Poppe’s memo, and stormwater pipe has been installed. Meanwhile, the installation of sanitary sewer and water infrastructure is in motion.
Poppe said all of the work at the site has benefited from good weather.
The Kentucky Department of Labor also recently conducted a safety inspection of the site and found no deficiencies, according to the Planning and Development memo. Likewise, no accidents have occurred on the site, according to the memo.
The multi-sports park is slated to open in summer 2012.
IN OTHER NEWS
Elizabethtown Fire Chief Mike Hulsey has presented a draft of a new city emergency plan to Mayor David Willmoth redefining how city resources could be used in case of a disaster.
Hulsey said the state and county are modifying their plans and the city needs to follow their lead. Hulsey said it is imperative the city designate its resources for its own residents first and provide mutual aid to other communities, the county and the state as it can.
If the city does not have these uses defined, Hulsey said, the governor legally can interject and request the city’s resources and equipment elsewhere, tying it up in another county when it can be used locally.
Hulsey did not provide specifics of the plan this week, but said he plans to present details to the Elizabethtown City Council for approval in the coming weeks
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762.