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Council Scraps Softball Park Improvements

All bids were rejected and uses for the money allocated for the park will be re-explored.

Hope for an were slashed by the Gilroy City Council Monday.

In March of 2011, the council first allocated $50,000 toward park improvement, and later pinpointed that money specifically for the softball field. But when bids came in at nearly twice the budget last month, the Gilroy Public Works Department prepared a report for the council with options to move forward.

The minimum bid, offered by Calstate Construction, Inc. came in at $92,800, meaning if the council were to accept that bid, it would need to draw an additional $42,800 from a city fund to fully back the project. 

Public Works also gave the council the option of scaling back the park improvements to stay within the original $50,000 budget.

Presented with the monetary conundrum Monday night, the council ultimately opted to reject all bids and revisit how to stay within budget. By a 4-1 vote, a motion passed that will allow the city to re-think the $50,000 investment — although it must still be used for park improvement, but not necessarily on the softball field. 

The dissenting vote came from Councilman Peter Arellano, who wanted to scale back to the $50,000 original budget but keep the money specifically for the softball field.

"Improvements to the diamond are needed. The question is how much," Arellano said. "Let's look at the minimum that makes the park more beautiful, more efficient and at better use to the neighborhood. We have the money. Let's fix it and make it better for the neighborhood rather than spending all our time changing the use permit. ... I don't why we want to postpone this."

Originally, the money was meant to go toward a new backstop, new dugouts, new grass and new irrigation.

Public Works will now go back to the drawing board and come back to council with other ideas for the park at a later meeting. 

Do you agree with the council's decision not to overspend on the softball field? Do you think they should just spend the money and help the park already? Tell us in the comments!

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