The Newton City Council is moving forward with a Splash Pad on the vacant City lot directly west of Bank Iowa. But that’s about all that will be going in at this time at the so-called Downtown Spray Park & Gathering Space. Other mentioned features are being left out for now due to their costs. A group of private citizens associated with the Newton Main Street Economic Vitality Committee got the idea going for a park on this vacant City-owned lot at 224 West 3rd Street North. This past August the City Council approved a $49,000 Preliminary Design Services Agreement with Bolton & Menk for the Project. Another $36,000 amendment to that agreement came in October…allowing for final design work to be completed. It was based on the December 2022 concept plan presented by the Main Street Committee to the City as their final concept plan. In November the City put the project out for bid. Earlier this month…4 bids were opened. They ranged from just under 551-thousand dollars…to over 673-thousand. The low 550-thousand 812-dollar base bid from Brothers Concrete of Des Moines was accepted. It was below the engineer’s 585-thousand 694-dollar cost estimate for the base bid work. The project is to be finished by the end of next June. At-Large Councilman Randy Ervin voiced his disappointment last (Monday) night…about where the project currently sits.
Bid prices for all the features in the concept plan exceeded 700-thousand dollars. City staff says the other features can be added later at lower costs by completing some in-house, or under separate and smaller contracts. Mayor elect Evelyn George is still optimistic about the park.
Because current funds available for this project are $13,000 short of expected project costs, staff anticipates preparing a small change order to cover the shortage should no additional private funds or grants be secured prior to completion of the base bid work. That change would remove some limestone block seating from the project. Again..that could be added later.