Pasco approves two parts of spray park

By Geoff Folsom, Tri-City HeraldNovember 4, 2013 

The Pasco City Council approved two parts of a new spray park at Kurtzman Park in east Pasco at its Monday meeting.

The votes set the stage for construction of the spray park, which is scheduled to open May 1, City Manager Gary Crutchfield said.

One vote authorized the city to pay Pasco-based Big D's Construction of Tri-Cities $115,534 for work that will include putting in a splash pad at 331 South Wehe Ave.

The job also includes demolishing the existing swimming pool and pool building, which were closed last year after the city determined that repairing them would cost too much.

The bid was the lowest of four received by the city, with Rawhide Excavating of Madras, Ore., having the second-lowest bid at $159,736. The city engineer estimated the project to cost $170,828.

The council also approved Vortex Aquatic Structures International of Quebec, Canada, as the sole source vendor for equipment for the spray park for $93,089. Crutchfield said state law allows for the city to not put a project out for bid if it gets council approval to do so and the city keeps a record of a reason for why it needs to.

The city wants only one vendor because Vortex also makes equipment for the spray park at the Memorial Park pool, allowing toys to be easily switched between the parks, Crutchfield said.

Councilman Al Yenney said at last week's workshop meeting that he doesn't like single-source vendors because they limit competitive bids and tie the city to using one company in the future.

On Monday, Yenney pulled the sole source proposal off the consent agenda, where several items are voted on at one time, so it could be discussed. But he said he felt better about the purchase after he called several companies who make spray park equipment and Vortex was the only one that talked to him.

"It just looks like a better product after I did a little research on it," he said.

Councilman Saul Martinez agreed.

"Even if it was to go out for bid and somebody was a bit more inexpensive, there is a price to pay to give variety to the community," he said.

The project also needs to get going because it has taken so long, Yenney said.

Families in the Kurtzman Park area used kiddie pools this summer or sent their kids on the bus to the only remaining city-owned pool at Memorial Park.

The city doesn't have immediate plans to demolish the pool at Richardson Park, which was also closed, Crutchfield said. The city is not planning to put a spray park there.

Also Monday:

w The council took different actions on two local improvement districts in the Kurtzman Park area. Residents in the area paid an assessment for street widening, curb, gutter, storm drainage and street lighting.

The council voted to close the process on LID 148, where work was completed on properties along Waldemar, Cedar, Hugo and Sycamore avenues, and Alton and Helena streets. Some residents had complained because the city did not put in driveways on some vacant lots, so the city agreed to compromise by paying for half the driveway construction if residents install them within the next year.

Resident C.W. Brown praised the council and city staff for working with him.

"It made me feel good that I could go and have a meeting with somebody and work out the differences," he said.

However, city staff realized that the formula it used to assess how much residents owed for LID 149 was flawed, and so the city will have to notify residents with the new figures of how much they will owe for the work the city did. LID 149 impacted property owners on Hugo and Cedar avenues between Lewis Street to the north and Alton Street to the south.

w The council rejected bids for improvements at the filtration plant at the Butterfield Water Treatment Plant at 1306 West B Street. The low bid of $190,870, from Vincent Brothers LLC of Pasco, was well above the city's estimate of $170,448.

"After reviewing that, I think we can do a little better," city public works director Ahmad Qayoumi said.

w The council approved a historic preservation plan for the city that sets goals and actions designed to preserve Pasco's historic buildings while improving awareness of the city's history.

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