The first phase of improvements at Waupaca’s South Park is about 70 percent complete, with the project still on track to be completed by the beginning of July.
That is what Brennan Kane, the city’s director or community and economic development, told the Common Council during its May 6 meeting.
“A tremendous amount of work has been done the last couple of weeks,” he said.
The project is on track in spite of contractors starting it a little bit later due to the lengthy winter, Kane said.
The first phase of improvements in the city’s oldest park includes a new pavilion, new playground equipment, irrigation on the hillside and now a patio as well.
Construction of the pavilion began in March, and Kane said the new playground equipment will be installed later this month or in early June.
The city feels comfortable that the pavilion will be usable in time for the annual Knights of Columbus chicken barbecue that is held in the park on July 4.
Kane said there may be some landscaping and sprinkling still needing to be done after July 1.
Bids for the irrigation and partial construction of a patio were approved by the Common Council on May 6.
Parks and Recreation Director Aaron Jenson told the council the hillside is a sandy, washed out area.
Irrigating it will make it more green and attractive, he said.
A total of $17,000 was allocated toward the installation of an irrigation system, landscaping around the pavilion and the replacement of trees that were removed for the project.
Of that amount, $8,000 was allocation for the purchase and installation of an irrigation system and $9,000 for landscaping and trees.
The council voted 7-2 to award the bid to Shulfer’s Sprinkler and Landscaping at a cost not to exceed $8,860.
Scott Purchatzke and Jillian Petersen voted no, and Deb Fenske was absent.
Purchatzke expressed a concern about not awarding it to the lowest bidder, Spring Time Lawn, particularly since it is a local company and the city always tries to “champion the local.”
In a May 1 memo to Mayor Brian Smith and the city’s Park and Recreation Board, Jenson said staff reached out to three different irrigation companies for quotes.
In addition to the quote from Shulfer’s Sprinkler and Landscaping, quotes were received by Spring Time Lawn and Landscaping for $6,080 and the Sprinkler Company for $10,1887.
Jenson said the city has irrigation systems within its park system from both Spring Time Lawn and Landscaping and Shulfer’s Sprinkler and Landscaping.
Spring Time Lawn and Landscaping installed systems in Rotary Riverview Park and Lakemen Field.
Shulfer’s Sprinkler and Landscaping installed and serviced all the irrigation in Swan Park.
“The proposal submitted by Spring Time Lawn and Landscaping is somewhat incomplete and shows considerable less detail than the other estimates,” Jenson wrote in his memo.
A May 2 memo to the mayor and Common Council addressed the patio portion of the project.
“The Upper South Park Pavilion is progressing nicely as we are in the middle of construction; city staff has recognized an opportunity to add one patio to the south of the new pavilion,” he wrote.
A patio was an alternate bid item for the project, and Jenson told the council that doing patio work later would result in having to tear up the hillside and affect the irrigation system.
The council agreed by a vote of 8-1 to use up to $35,000 in private donor money to fund the patio. Petersen voted no.
City Administrator Henry Veleker said $500,000 was committed in private donations for the overall four-phase project, but a total of $535,000 was raised.
The $35,000 for the patio will come out of that amount.
“I assume if we didn’t OK this, there wouldn’t be a patio in the future,” the mayor said. “If we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it now.”
The cost of the entire four-phase project is estimated at $1.5 million. The budget for the first phase is projected to be $695,000.