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Bid for grandstand approved

Clilntonville Common Council voted to repair the grandstand at W.A. Olen Park. File photo

Clintonville to fix canopy

By Bert Lehman

The city of Clintonville with use money from its General Fund Emergency Reserves to partially fund the project to fix safety issues with the grandstand canopy at Jirschele Field at W.A. Olen Park.

Approval to move forward with the project came from the Clintonville Common Council when it met May 14.

At the meeting, the council approved the bid of $66,075 from Benson and Houle of Rosendale to complete the project. The city had budgeted $30,000 in its Capital Improvement Plan for the project, so the amount over $30,000 will come from the General Fund Emergency Reserves.

Committee of the Whole

During the May 14 Committee of the Whole meeting, held prior to the council meeting, City Administrator Caz Muske said the city has been working with the Clintonville School District and the Clintonville Athletic Club to deal with the safety concerns regarding the bleachers at Jirschele Field.

Public Works and Parks and Recreation Director Justin Mc Auly also said the original bid the city received from Beson and Houle was for $74,550. Changes were made to that bid in an effort to get the final cost closer to the city’s budget number.

Removed from the bid was pavement patching, and the addition of topsoil and seeding the topsoil.
“That’s something we can do in-house and probably save quite a bit,” Mc Auly said. “A lot of that stuff we have available.”

In an April 29 email to Muske that contained information about the reduction of the bid number, Jesse Houle of Beson and Houle said, “Really just proposing they eliminate those items (that I am assuming they may be able to source less expensively local) and offering a credit of $5,000 if awarded and we can get moving on this. The credit really comes from B&H wanting to work (with) the City on this and future work and subs willing to hold pricing/offer credits back as well.”

When completed, Mc Auly said the facility will give individuals with disabilities the opportunity to watch games at the stadium.

“Right now, all we have is two, five-row bleachers, that fits about 78 people,” Mc Auly said. “Individuals with disabilities really don’t have an appropriate area to sit. It’s very poor seating. If you go along the first base line, it’s all sloped hill. And down by the infield, it’s just the entrance area where you can sit or pull a wheelchair up. Otherwise, you’d be a long distance away from the field. This will allow us to safely open up the facility for individuals with disabilities and other spectators to sit in the old grandstands.”

Muske reiterated to the council that the city had only reserved $30,000 for the project.

“It is over budget, but given the safety concerns and the appropriate use of our reserves fund to offset the costs of this project to maintain the safety of the facility, so the recommendation is for the variance to come from the general fund reserve,” Muske said.

Ald. Stephanie Bonikowske said the Clintonville Legion baseball team is scheduled to host the state tournament in 2025.

“So, it’s very important to get it (bleacher project) done for that as well,” Bonikowske said.
Ald. Greg Rose, who is also a teacher for the Clintonville School District, said that the school’s baseball team and the parents of the players are “not happy” that the grandstand bleachers can not be used at this time.

“We are looking forward to being able to come to a conclusion for this, and quickly,” Rose said.
Since the city received only one bid for the project, Rose asked how bids were requested.
Mc Auly said the bid process was conducted by Kunkel Engineering, which the city hired to engineer the project and do all the construction services.

“This was advertised through their networking,” Mc Auly said. “They also communicated with Torbergs (Lumber), here in town, to try to get some local feedback, and it wasn’t well-received. We didn’t get anybody locally that was interested in the job.”

Two bids were originally received, Mc Auly said, but one company backed out because its drill rig would not clear the roofline.

“I know it’s not a fun job. It’s not a large revenue job for a lot of contractors,” Mc Auly said.

Muske added that the city conducted two cycles of bids, with no bids being received in the first round.

Finance

At the May 13 city Finance Committee meeting, Mc Auly said, “I think it’s very important that the city remedies this issue as quick as we can, so we can accommodate for all individuals.”

The project will entail fixing the safety issues with the canopy above the bleachers, Mc Auly said.

He added that the beams holding up the canopy need to be updated. They are undersized, and not deep enough in the ground.

Muske said the main concern is safety, and once the work is completed regarding this bid, “that safety risk will go away based on our engineer’s report.”

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