SEQUIM — The contract for the new parking lot and access road by the Albert Haller Playfields has received a unanimous go-ahead from City Council members despite going over budgeted funds by about $110,000.
City staff Monday recommended a $390,711.28 contract with Nordland Construction NW Inc. that sets a construction deadline for the end of July prior to the Dungeness Cup on Aug. 5.
The one-way road, as part of the Carrie Blake Community Parking Project, connects from Blake Avenue to the road by the playfields and James Center for Performing Arts. It adds 55 parking spots and access to Rhodefer Road.
City staff reports that the initial construction bid contract came in at $304,000, but Nordland was the lowest bidder, and with its bid, contingency funds, surveying and testing, and SEPA review and surveying, the project comes to just over $443,000.
However, the city budgeted just over $344,000, with $140,294 from the Albert Haller Foundation, $140,000 from the Sequim Park Fund, $30,000 from Sequim in-kind donations, $20,000 from Sequim Family Advocates, $10,000 from Sequim Junior Soccer, $2,000 from Storm King SC and $2,000 from Sequim FC adult soccer.
Public Works director David Garlington said the main difference between the bid and staff’s estimate was the cost of a box culvert and permeable asphalt.
He also said the bid might be higher because bidders are busy and aren’t in need of more work, are unfamiliar with materials like permeable asphalt and that the timeline is tight for the project.
“Time is of the essence in this contract,” he said.
Due to the unexpectedly high costs, city staff were planning to delay several projects until 2017, such as painting lines and installing a plastic traffic arrow, but council members preferred to do them now.
City Councilwoman Pam Leonard-Ray said if they delayed a portion of the project, there’s no guarantee it could cost less.
Garlington suggested and council members agreed to move contingency funds from 7 percent to 10 percent, which adds about $12,000 to the plan bringing it to about $455,000.
City staff said additional funds would come from the real estate excise tax, the city’s ending fund balance and the Sequim Civic Center contingency fund.
The total cost for the city comes to about $250,000, said Joe Irvin, assistant to the city manager/parks manager.
City Councilman Bob Lake said he approved the project because they “owe it to our partners to move forward.”
City Councilman John Miller said with the publicity given to the project, they “should have gone ahead yesterday.”
Dave Shreffler, president of Sequim Family Advocates, told council members he appreciates the city honoring the agreement.
“Congrats to you for seeing through with the project,” he said.
Plans for parking by the playfield date back to 2011 as part of Phase II for work at the playfields but were delayed due to costs of permeable pavement.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.