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Kids should have a place to play by mid-September

Morris Council OKs contract for Phase 1 of Deer Ridge Park

Published: Thursday, July 18, 2013 9:35 a.m. CDT

By mid September residents of Deer Ridge subdivision will have a new park for families to enjoy.

The Morris City Council Monday approved the newly negotiated bids for the first phase of Deer Ridge Park for $46,945.85. City Engineer Guy Christensen said after the meeting the contracts would be sent to the contractors and work would begin by mid-August, with an expected completion by the middle of September.

In November 2011, Deer Ridge subdivision developers came before the committee requesting a park be developed on the land it dedicated to the city when the subdivision was originally platted.

The subdivision, located off of U.S. 6 and Ashton Road, now has about 75 families living in it and has about 175 empty lots. There is currently not a park within walking or riding distance for kids or families. The Morris Lions Club donated $10,000 to go toward the park.

Last month, the city council took no action on the original bids that came in on the park because the project costs were much higher than expected. Original bids from the lowest contractor came in at about $94,000 for equipment and site work. The city was expecting $45,000 to $50,000.

A Parks and Annexation Committee meeting was held after, during which Christensen said he was able to get the project costs reduced. So Monday, the council voted down the original bids and accepted the new bids by Fuerte Systems for $31,184.85 for the equipment and Burla and Sons for $15,761 for the site work.

To lower the cost, Christensen had the contractors eliminate some of the earth excavation work and seeding for a portion of the property that can be done in a later phase. The city’s Public Works Department will also take on some of the site work to reduce the work for which the city was going to pay the contractor.

The committee decided to wait on putting up a chainlink backstop fence for the future baseball field. The field will be done in the second phase, so the city decided to do the backstop then as well. Lastly, it decided against two more-expensive pieces of park equipment and replaced those pieces with three cheaper items. The park will have about seven equipment items.

The tentative layout the committee worked on for the park — after all its phases — includes a baseball field, soccer field, walking path, shelter, a space for a future adult fitness area, and multiple sets of play equipment such as swings and tubes, as well as tables and benches.

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