San Carlos may downsize its planned renovation of Crestview Park after even the lowest contractor bid came $230,000 over the project’s budget.
The city’s capital improvement program budget set aside $1.76 million for the park makeover but the low bidder came in at $1.99 million. With many other pressing capital improvement needs in the city, staff is recommending the City Council at Monday night’s meeting reject all of the bids, reduce the scope and costs and re-bid the changed plan.
The project likely wouldn’t go out to bid again for at least two months which would push construction into early 2015. Wet weather could delay the work even further and require cancellation of another soccer season at Crestview, Public Works Director Jay Walter told the council in a report for Monday’s meeting.
Another possible challenge in rebidding the project is that the new prices might actually come in higher because of the current economic climate. Walter used as example the San Jose State University football field improvement project which was rejected and rebid, costing the school an extra $193,000.
If the City Council wants to immediately go ahead with the Crestview Park renovation plan as bidded, it could use the remaining $216,000 balance in the Burton Park Phase II project fund. General fund reserves would make up the difference but be replaced by any remaining contingency money after the project ends.
Going this route would have construction beginning likely in May with completion by the end of December.
Cost savings measures already made include pre-purchasing the playground equipment at a discounted price rather than pay the contractor’s markup — a projected savings of $23,250 — and making several items alternatives so that they can be excluded if the bids are too high. These include the pathway steps and basketball courts.
Other possible savings include approximately $50,000 by omitting the restroom upgrades and approximately $39,000 by removing a chain-link fence from the project.
Mayor Mark Olbert said accepting the lowest bid seems like the better way to go because of the way construction costs are accelerating with the improving Peninsula economy but he’s still considering the situation. The bigger concern, he said, is what the economy might mean for other capital projects and he’s asked staff to reassess all the pending and proposed projects for the upcoming budget review.
The City Council approved the renovation plan last year after some tug-of-war over its components, in particular the proposed use of synthetic turf at the 1.1-acre park located on Crestview Drive north of Brittan Avenue. After the Planning Commission deadlocked over the turf, the City Council first shot down the idea and then adopted a makeover plan that incorporated design elements of multiple proposals. The renovations call for installing age-appropriate playground equipment, renovating resurfacing and marking the basketball area, reducing the parking spaces by two, adding a small bleacher or goal storage to the hillside, saving a beloved redwood tree and finding more flat areas for the local astronomers.
The San Carlos City Council meets 7 p.m. Monday, April 14 at City Hall, 600 Elm St., San Carlos.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 102