Some major budget adjustments were approved last week as commissioners prepared for the go-ahead on several influential projects around town.
Though last week’s commission meeting was brief, there were several major funding adjustments on the agenda.
Each year, the city uses funding provided in CIP RC008 to repair or replace items in playgrounds throughout the city. This year, the city is focusing on purchasing new swing sets and sand-filled playground areas.
City Manager Bill McDaniel said many of the swing sets at parks around the city are drastically worn down and in desperate need of replacement. The sand, which is used as a safety fall zone in many of the local playgrounds, is also no longer the preferred safety standard thanks to years of heavy use. The project approved last week will replace the sand and swings in many of the playgrounds and bring the parks back up to modern standards.
The cost quoted by Clay County, Florida to Rep Services, Inc. which is available via piggyback, found the installation of the swings and the EWF safety fall zones is $78,546.53. This massive undertaking will tackle five target locations:
Marie B. Ellis Park – $25,292.61 to replace the swing set, install EWF for swing set and playground
Burchwood Park – $21,584.77 to replace the swing set, install EWF for swing set and playground
Gilchrist Park – $10,987.83 to replace the swing set, install EWF for swing set
Mike Sansone Park – $18,468.47 to replace the swing set, install EWF for swing set and playground
Otis M. Andrews Sports Complex (west) – $2,212.85 to install EWF for playground
Commissioners also agreed to sign a Hillsborough County grant agreement to make improvements at Ellis-Methvin Park. The park, which is 46 acres, has recently hosted many events of regional impact to the county and a special presentation was made to the Hillsborough County Tourist Development Council on Feb. 28 in an attempt to secure funding to assist with the already proposed construction of a building at the park.
The building will act as a concession sales area with restrooms on the bottom and an event management space on the second floor. It will be built on the peninsula at the pond. The 2,650-square foot building will have six fixtures in both restrooms, a concession preparation and serving area, storage space, a 700-square foot upper floor and an open floor plan for tournament management and security.
The projected cost is just over $1,000,000 for the total project. The TDC voted to award $500,000 in matching funds for this project.
Now that funding is secured, the city will move forward with detailed design work. Once the design is finalized, there will be bidding, the bid review and bid award, construction and, finally, occupancy. The occupancy is anticipated for the summer of 2020.
The city also agreed to increase the CIP budget by $18,500 for the Railroad Quiet Zones project to cover the cost of general liability and excess liability insurance. The insurance is required by CSX Transportation prior to construction of the Quiet Zone improvements, which the city is having put in place downtown near the upcoming Midtown development.
The McIntosh Tract Property Development project budget was also increased by $300,000 to record the LLI Grant Agreement from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. This will be used to ensure the park offers walking trails, viewing areas and nature access opportunities to the public. The 50 percent match has already been appropriated from the impact fees.