By David Hotle, The JOURNAL
The Washington City Council voted Tuesday evening to approve changing the bid opening date for the Wellness Park grading and utilities project from Thursday, April 12 to Monday, April 16 during its regular meeting.
According to Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson, with a new Iowa law that went into effect July 1, 2016, the city was cutting the schedule for the opening a little close to meet the required 13-day public bid notice requirement. Previously a four-day notice was all that was required for bids. Council member Steve Gault, who has previously said he would vote against anything to do with the Wellness park, voted against the motion.
The project was bid out recently after lease-purchase agreement bids came in well above the $700,000 amount that was set for the bids.
According to Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson said the city would include an item in the plans that would solicit for in-kind contributions from contractors for the project. He said the bid form would include a deduct line-item for the contractor?s proposed in-kind donation. The adjusted total would be considered to determine the lowest responsible bidder.
Hinson said that a second project would be done later to complete what is known as ?phase one? of the project. He said it is possible to start that phase of the project this fall, but believed that it is more likely the phase would be done in the spring of 2019.
The Wellness Park is being constructed on 46 acres along Fifth Street and North D Avenue.
In December 2016, the council had indicated it wanted to move ahead with the project and leave $1 million in this year?s budget to be spent on the park.
The city sold about 5 acres of land on the proposed Wellness Park to the Y to be used for the construction of a new building.
After the failure of a bond referendum to help fund the building, the YMCA announced in May it plans to collect funding for a new $9 million facility to be constructed at West Fifth Street and North D Avenue as well as future expansions.
The Washington City Council also approved partnering with the YMCA of Washington County to seek a mutual grant from Enhance Iowa to benefit both the Y?s building project and the construction of the proposed Wellness Park.