Stallings Park phase two begins

Council voted in favor of lowest bidder to begin park construction in March

by Saja Hindi

The town of Stallings wants to move forward with its park plans. With phase one of the Stallings Municipal Park improvements in its final stage, the town council voted to adopt phase two at its Monday, Feb. 15 meeting.

Bids opened Feb. 1, and the lowest bidder of 15 was Godfrey Construction Company, Inc. The council voted 5-1, with councilman Wyatt Dunn opposing, in favor of the lowest bidder, Godfrey Construction Company, Inc., for a base bid of $665,800 with alternates 2 and 4, totaling $695,400. After adding general contract costs, other project costs and a $30,000 general contingency for unforeseen circumstances, Phase Two will cost a total amount of $803,400.

Site Solutions, the town’s consultant for the project, and the Parks and Recreation Committee recommended the council approve alternates 1,2 and 4, making the cost of the project by Godfrey Construction a base bid of $715,400, with the recommended general contract other project costs and general contingency for a grand total of $823,400. The alternates – parts of the project that could be excluded or reduced for cost but wouldn’t affect the park drastically if eliminated – are alternate 1: benches and trash receptacles throughout the park, alternate 2: picnic shelter at phase 1 playground and alternate 3: security system and PA throughout the park.

The council decided to vote in favor of alternates 2 and 4, without alternate 1 in an effort to see if the company can reduce the price on the benches and trash receptacles. Other bidders had listed this alternate for a lower price, so Dunn asked that this alternate be challenged.

“I’m looking at a difference of $8,500 on benches and trash receptacles between Godfrey and the lowest, so obviously they’re using different suppliers, and I’d like for us to challenge their usage of $20,000 and see if you can find some that is just the same quality,” Dunn said. “They are benches and trash receptacles – they don’t need to be the highest and best quality out there. In my mind, they just need to be useful and aesthetically pleasing.”

Town Councilman Paul Frost also suggested the idea of having boy scouts build the benches as they’ve done in other town projects and Matthews said it was something that could be looked into but budget limitations as well as making sure there is a consistency in building was important.

Mayor Lynda Paxton raised the issue of whether the $30,000 for contingency would be enough since the last phased contingency required $50,000, and town manager Brian Matthews said they hope the soil issues won’t be as significant on this section of the park.

Other concerns council members brought up included having the security system communicate with the police force, the completion of correcting the sewage and drainage problems from phase one and tearing down the bathrooms structure and building a new one while making it handicap accessible.

According to Matthews, now that the town has selected the lowest bidder, the town’s engineer will develop a contract and put together a timeline to start construction some time in March.

“We anticipate having the remainder of the park completed before the summer – that’s in hopes that it’ll be ready for our Stallings Fest in September,” he said.

Matthews said the town council and staff are looking at the park as the town’s jewel and hope to use the park and other town improvements in downtown Stallings from Pleasant Plains and Potters Road all the way to Monroe Road to attract business development and shopping for residents.

“We want to tie all that in and create an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere,” Matthews said.

Frost said he believes the park is a really great development for the town and said the citizens on the Parks and Recreation committee have made this project what it is.

“Probably five years ago, the Parks and Recreation Committee wasn’t functioning well, and they’ve turned that into now this force of people that are really dedicated and put so much time and effort into making sure the park got built and got built as economically as possible and in such a way that’s really beautiful,” he said.

According to Frost, both citizens and people from other municipalities have been complimenting the park.

“It’s a wonderful first step for the town in this downtown corridor to develop this park into a place of beauty, a place that would attract the types of shopping, the types of people and the types of businesses we’d like to have,” he said.

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