The renovation of Waupaca’s South Park is set to begin this fall, after the Common Council awarded the construction contracts when it met Sept. 17.
During that meeting, the Common Council took two votes related to the project.
The first was to award the following contracts:
• Sitework to Advance Construction, of Green Bay, for $125,034.75.
• Building concrete to Altmann Construction, of Wisconsin Rapids, for $49,800.
• Masonry to Berrens Contracting, Waupaca, for $69,032.
• Rough carpentry to Altmann Construction for $125,000.
• Plumbing to Engebretsen Plumbing, Waupaca, for $26,440.77.
• Electrical to Bauer Electric, Waupaca, for $22,100.
That motion included City Administrator Henry Veleker checking that the city will receive the total amount of the $339,150 Wisconsin Stewardship Grant it expects to receive.
“We’ve received 50 percent of the grant,” Veleker told the council.
Members of the council asked Veleker to check on the grant after Police Chief Tim Goke noted earlier in the meeting that a the department is waiting for about $6,000 in previously approved funding from a Wisconsin Department of Transportation Traffic Grant.
Since the Sept. 17 council meeting, Veleker received an email from the DNR saying the department believes the Stewardship Grant funds the city expects to receive are secure.
The second vote related to the project was to reject the low bid of $24,424 from Faulks Bros. Construction, of Waupaca, for the water portion of the project and to have city crews do the work.
Both of the votes were 9-0. Deb Fenske was absent.
In addition to doing the water work, city staff also recommend city crews do the storm sewer, as well as the roofing, flashing and sheet metal, to save money while also meeting the city’s required local match for the project.
John Edlebeck, the city’s director of public works, said he talked to Faulks Bros. about the city’s desire to do the storm sewer work.
“They understand,” he told the council.
The company is willing to be considered for materials related to the project, Edlebeck said.
“The city’s objective,” Edlebeck said, “is to act as the contractor and coordinator the sub contractors.”
It was also noted during the meeting that the city did not receive bids for four packages: gypsum board and painting, aluminum windows, signage and HVAC.
City staff will pursue written quotes for that work from local contractors. Those parts of the project will be later in the construction process. Those bids will then be brought before the council at a later date.
The budget for the total project is projected to be $695,000.
The funding for it will be as follows:
• $339,150 from the DNR grant.
• $230,000 in private donations.
• $12,000 from the park’s operating account.
• $25,000 from the city park fee account.
• $12,000 from the development department’s operating account.
• $15,000 from the Friends of the Parks.
• $16,000 from the city’s water utility account.
• $16,000 from the city’s storm sewer account.
• $15,000 from the city’s street sidewalk account.
• $15,000 from the Rick Johnson Donation Account.
The funds from the parks and development departments were related to money available due to the recreation coordinator position being vacant part of this year and the development director position also being vacant for a portion of the year.
As for the sidewalk account, Mayor Brian Smith said a certain amount of money is set aside each year for sidewalk replacement in the city.
“If you agree to this,” he told the council, “unless you put more money into that budget, none of that happen will next year.”
That is because the sidewalk dollars will go toward sidewalk in South Park.
Ald. Jillian Petersen then asked, “Are these taxpayer dollars that are being added?”
Veleker said the grant application included $50,000 for city in-kind labor and materials.
Smith said four of the accounts helping to fund the project involve taxpayer dollars.
“I thought you had made it known to the taxpayers that we would not use tapxayer dollars,” Petersen said.
Veleker said he did not know if he said that and again said the grant included cash and materials, which are taxpayer dollars.
“My recollection was we were going to use in kind to cover our share, not (tax) dollars,” the mayor said. “This is a great project. We need to do something, but you are changing what you said you would do originally.”
Ald. Dave Shambeau said the city will be using money which is on hand to complete a project.
“Two of these items are using 2014 tax dollars,” Smith said.
He said it is a great project, which includes a stewardship grant and support from private donors.
However, Smith reminded the council that those dollars are in addition to the time city crews will be putting into the project.
The project, which includes a new shelter and playground equipment, is scheduled to be completed next spring.