By Shelby Stewart
Brandon Twp.- Work is underway at the township park on Hadley Road.
At the Monday night special meeting, the board of trustees voted 5-2 to award the bid for stripping and stock piling topsoil for approximately five acres of the park to Roger Ingles, as well voting 7-0 on a pay scale for contracted labor and employees operating heavy equipment, a budget amendment for the township park development, and approval of heavy equipment rental.
Construction at the Brandon Township Community Park, 1414 N. Hadley Road began earlier this year. The projects are made possible with Land and Water Conservation Fund grants from the Department of Natural Resources. The grants originally covered four baseball fields, four sand volleyball courts, one basketball court, 300 parking sports and other various small projects like benches and signage.
However, the project bids came back higher than the grants could fund.
As a result, the projects were reduced to half the parking, two baseball fields, three volleyball courts and the basketball court.
There was some question on the bids for stripping and stock piling the topsoil, as Ingles submitted more information than the bid required, though the parks and recreation subcommittee still recommended his base bid.
“I don’t care what they recommend, if I don’t understand it, it’s mud,” said Terri Darnall, township treasurer who along with Candee Allen, township clerk voted against awarding Ingles the bid.
Project manager and Parks and Recreation Director Fred Waybrant, as well as members of the parks and recreation subcommittee, stressed the importance of time and the tight budget, as the project is funded partially with grants from the Department of Natural Resources.
“If we don’t get this going, we’re going to lose the grant money,” said Dana DePalma, trustee who is a member of the parks and recreation subcommittee.
According to Waybrant, Ingles has volunteered over 100 hours with the park, which counts towards matching funds with the grants. It would also take extra time to put out for bids on the project again.
“We don’t have the time to wait two more weeks and to have to go through it again to get the same two bids back and they’re going to be exactly what we have in front of us,” said Jayson Rumball, trustee also a member of the parks and recreation subcommittee. “I wouldn’t think the numbers would change.”
The board previously voted to make Waybrant project manager because bids had come in so high over budget, and he is asking for help from the community with some funding and with the actual work. To volunteer, sponsor or donate, call Waybrant at 248-627-4640.