By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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The council has approved 6-0 a $1,011,325 contract with Bruch & Bruch Construction of Port Angeles to complete work on the two “pocket beaches” planned as part of the larger West End Park project.
Councilman Patrick Downie was absent and excused from the meeting last Tuesday.
The council also approved an 8 percent contingency fund for the project of $80,900.
The beaches will lie along the waters of Port Angeles Harbor, between the Valley Creek estuary to the west and the city's waterfront esplanade to the east.
Councilwoman Sissi Bruch said she is not immediately related to the owners of the construction company.
“Although I am very distantly related, I did not know anything about Bruch & Bruch until I moved to Port Angeles,” Bruch said before the vote Tuesday.
“I will not be gaining financially from this.”
Nathan West, the city's community and economic development director, said the beach construction is expected to begin by the end of the month or in early July and likely will last a year.
“We're extremely excited this project [has become] another project that reinvests into our local economy and one we're able to share with a local contractor,” West said.
Bruch & Bruch's bid came in about 22.5 percent less than the city engineering staff's estimate of $1,304,530.
The beach work, which will install two sandy beaches with small rocky jetties, will be the first of three parts for West End Park, construction of which is estimated to cost about $2.48 million, West said.
The next two portions, planned to be built one at a time, will install a paved path taking the Olympic Discovery Trail through the park, West said, and add three public plazas to the city-owned land along the water just west of North Oak Street.
The decision to separate the West End Park work into three parts was made after city staff learned a $189,000 state grant slated to help fund the project required that trail construction be separate from the other park features, West said.
“We're basically going to be taking them one at a time,” he said, adding that each portion is expected to take about a year to finish.
City staff have secured between $1.7 million and $1.8 million in federal and state grants for West End Park, West said, with city funds providing the rest.
Once built, the trail section will connect with the stretch built as part of the city's $3.9 million esplanade project to the east.
Corey Delikat, the city's parks and recreation director, said he worked with West to include a $21,000 request in the Parks and Recreation Department's annual budget to fund a seasonal employee to help maintain the esplanade and West End Park.
The money, which would come from the city's general fund, would pay for someone to maintain the two areas for about eight months per year, he said.
“An eight-month person would be the minimum to keep the maintenance going at the park,” he said.
Delikat said such seasonal maintenance positions have been cut in the past during city budget discussions, adding that he's glad maintenance costs are being taken into account for new city infrastructure.
“As we build this stuff, we need to start making sure we can maintain it,” he said.
“That's huge from a maintenance aspect.”
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at email@example.com.