Only 1 bid for park projects work, but under budget

Single bid came in 20 percent below projections

Contributed art Rendering of what a splash pad at Memorial Park could look like.

Only one contractor submitted a bid to work on city park improvements included in last year’s referendum, but the good news is that bid came in less than projected.

The Shawano Park and Recreation Commission on Thursday approved a $1.04 million bid from Vinton Construction Co. of Manitowoc that covers a splash pad at Memorial Park and a complete build-out of Franklin Park.

Officials had expected bids to come in at around $1.2 million to $1.3 million.

Parks and Recreation Director Matt Hendricks said he was surprised only one contractor responded, especially given that 15 companies had expressed initial interest and viewed the bidding documents and project outline.

“I’m surprised only one of them followed through,” Hendricks said. “I don’t quite know why.”

The park and recreation commission was happy with the one bid that came in, however.

“We got one good bid submitted by a reputable company,” Hendricks said. “It was only one, but it was the one we needed.”

Hendricks said it was possible contractors were drawn to much more expensive projects elsewhere, including a multi-million dollar project in De Pere.

Vinton Construction’s bid will go to the finance committee and Shawano Common Council for approval next week.

If approved, work could begin in May, or “as soon as the weather allows,” Hendricks said, with work expected to be wrapped up by the end of summer.

The Memorial Park splash pad was estimated to come in at about $400,000. The bid submitted puts that cost at just under $387,000.

The Franklin Park build-out was estimated at $800,000. The bid came in at about $650,500.

The build-out includes a stage area for concerts and other performances, walkways, a water feature, flag poles, picnic tables and benches, lighting and parking at the north end of the park.

The last phase of the project, which would be the completion of Smalley Park, is expected to be bid out at around this time next year and be completed in the summer of 2019.

That project, which is still in the design phase, is estimated at $650,000.

Voters last year overwhelmingly approved $1.85 million in borrowing for development and improvements at the three parks.

The city has also received $70,000 in donations toward park improvements, putting the available budget at $1.92 million.