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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Ball Field Four Restroom Project Again On Hold

Issue Date: March 28, 2022

Construction of the long-awaited restrooms and concession stand for the City of Peshtigo's Ball Field Four is again on hold, and may be going back to the drawing boards. After discovering at their meeting on Tuesday, March 22 that the sole bid for the project came in at $217,249 - nearly $100,000 above the original $120,000 price estimate - the city's Finance Committee instructed Parks and Recreation Director Lori Tonn to work with designers to review bid specifications, alter them if necessary, and re-bid the project, this time with it to be advertised for at least four weeks rather than the two weeks of advertising that resulted in just one bid.

Discussion was that if the price remains in the $200,000 range the decision could be to have it re-designed to include just the restrooms, without the concession stand provisions.

There also is a possibility that some of the work mentioned in the bid documents were for work that has already been done, for example the $20,544 cost to install the water meter. Work also has already been done on some of the sewer lines.

Committee members present were Aldermen Brigitte Schmidt, Keith Klimek and Committee Chair Debbie Sievert.

Klimek declared $219,000 is far too much money to spend for something used three months a year.

Schmidt recalled that the former Parks and Recreation director had plumbers who had agreed to volunteer their time for the facility. Tonn commented that was before her time, and she had inherited the plans. The project has been in the works for a few years. Easement for the sewer line to the facility had been signed in March of 2020.

Mayor Cathi Malke said the city applied for a grant for the project a year and a half ago. They were notified in December that the $60,000 grant was approved, but the approval included a restriction that the money can be used only for the restroom portion of the project, and cannot fund construction of a concession stand because of Covid concerns.

Back when project was first designed, the Girls' Softball Association had also agreed to provide some funds for the facility, which was, or is, to include the restrooms, concession stand, and an overhang area for picnic tables and other outdoor seating.

The sole bid submitted this time around was from A&I of DePere, which included the $217,249 price tag. Tonn said she had requests from three construction firms for bid information. She had forwarded the information to all three, but only two had questions, and only A&I had submitted a bid.

Committee members recognized that construction prices have gone up a lot since the project was first designed, but felt the two week window for bidding may have been too brief, so they specified that it be advertised for a longer time. Grant rules require it be put out for bids, not quotes.

Klimek asked Tonn to provide him with copies of the new bid documents when she has them ready.

Except for the Concession Stand discussion the meeting was a brief one. Disbursements and RLF/UDAG loan reports were reviewed and found to be satisfactory, with all but one loan up to date. Precision Ice Blast's March payment is due along with $150 in fees, and a $41,111.70 balance on a $90,000 loan made to Faucett Forest Products in 2015 remains unpaid.

The next Finance and Claims Committee meeting is set for 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20.


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