Bid on new park base work OK'd

By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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The first phase of the new Loomis downtown park will soon become a reality. Koch Excavating, Inc., of Penn Valley, presented the lowest bid of $466,910 to complete the base work on the park. The Loomis Town Council voted at their Dec. 14 meeting to award the building of the park to Koch. According to Brian Fragiao, town engineer, the park and billing paperwork must be completed by June 2011 in order to utilize state bond money. Six bids were received for the project and ranged from Koch Excavating’s low bid up to $551,028 from Western Engineering of Loomis. Perry Beck, town manager, said the state is funding $220,000 of the park through the Bond Act of 2000 and the town will pay $200,000 from development fees known as park fees. The park fees fund currently has $544,895 in it. The remaining $46,910 would be paid from development fees labeled as park development. The park development fund currently contains $108,811. Beck said it has taken the town 25 years to accrue the money in the park funds. “Most of that money is from fees collected during the last 15 years. Those funds won’t be getting replenished anytime soon,” Beck said, referring to the slow pace of development. Base work on the park, to be conducted by Koch Excavating, includes clearing and grubbing the site, grading, fencing, utility relocation, erosion and sediment control, concrete work, electrical work, lighting, landscaping and construction of a tot-lot and shade structure. Council determined that other park amenities – such as restrooms, a water play spray pad and a multi-use skate plaza – will wait until funds become available. Those items were bid separately as ‘additional alternatives.’ Fragiao said town staff is looking into possible funding sources. After the meeting, Councilmember Miguel Ucovich expressed concern that the water spray feature is not being included in the park. Ucovich supported the water feature being included as part of the initial construction. The lowest bids for the additional alternatives are $36,905 for the water spray feature, $66,240 for restrooms, $194,014 for a skate plaza, and $262,267.78 for parking. Paved parking was not included in the base bid because town staff said money may become available in May or June from state Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funds. The council also asked that benches be removed from the bid because those can be donated. They also requested that a barbecue and trash receptacles be removed from the bid and asked that decomposed granite paths be changed to pervious concrete. Councilmembers also asked that the shade structure be eliminated or decreased in size to bring the bid down. Councilwoman Sandra Calvert suggested that mitigation shade trees be planted instead. Sasha Macktinger, of Granite Bay, is a parent with four children between the ages of 4 and 10 who attend Loomis schools. Macktinger expressed concern about the council wanting to remove the shade structure from the park. “There’s no way I’d take my children to a park in the Sacramento area in summertime unless there is a shade structure,” Macktinger said. Kelly Warden, owner of Skadoodle Toys in Loomis, agreed. “You can’t enjoy being outdoors without shade. No one would picnic or have a birthday party in the new park without shade,” Warden said. “Kids play in the sun, parents stay in the shade. Kids need the shade to rest in. Older people need the shade, too,” Warden said. In an e-mail to the Loomis News, Fragiao said, “Koch is looking into the items and when the Town is in agreement, we will prepare a contract for the new amount. (Koch) should be able to start in February 2011, weather permitting.”