SEQUIM — Construction will soon begin to realign the entrance to Carrie Blake Park.
Sequim city engineer Matt Klontz said construction tentatively will begin in mid-August to close the existing road for safety concerns and move the entrance south on Blake Avenue between the Sequim Skate Park and Trinity United Methodist Church.
Sequim City Council members unanimously voted 6-0 with John Miller absent Monday to award an approximately $504,000 contract plus a 5 percent contingency to Northern Land Development of Kingston. The business was the lowest of three bids on the project, which also includes installing a water main extension and grading the ground for eight future pickleball courts, which Klontz said was added during the contract advertisement.
Klontz said the overall project is estimated to be $50,000 over budget.
The reason, Klontz said, is that during the bidding process the city’s design team learned that 2016 estimates for the project were low compared to today.
Initial estimates had the project at $525,000, Klontz said, “but during design development, the design team prepared cost estimates to verify that the project scope fit the available budget. In this instance those estimates were low.”
The estimated new cost rounding up, he said, includes the project’s design, permits and contract advertisements at about $24,500, survey at $10,000, material testing at $6,500, the bid at about $504,000 and the contingency at $25,200.
“That said, funds are available in the city budget to supplement the project funding while still maintaining strong and healthy account balances,” he said.
Sequim council members were concerned about the project being over budget though. Klontz said there are some options for mitigating the shortfall.
Some of those include eliminating the hydroseeding process that uses a slurry of seed and mulch to save about $16,500, use topsoil on site to save about $10,000, and install fewer bollards, 18 instead of 23, to save about $5,000.
Klontz said previous park projects, including the first phase of remodeling the Guy Cole Center and new parking spots in the Water Reuse Demonstration Park/Albert Haller Playfields, came in under budget at about $27,000 and $71,000 each.
“Rather than simply complete a project on budget, it is the city’s goal to complete projects under budget,” he said.
“With this goal in mind, city [staff] will work toward regaining and not utilizing a large portion of the supplemental funding.”
City staff said funds for the project come from the Real Estate Excise Tax fund, utility reserves and general fund.
Any unspent money budgeted for the pickleball courts at about $51,000 will be applied to the next phase of construction.
Having earthmoving equipment onsite will save the city money, too, Klontz said, when the pickleball courts are tentatively constructed for an April 2018 opening.
For more information on the project, call the City of Sequim at 360-683-4139 or visit www.sequimwa.gov.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].