If you build it, they will come. That's the mantra when it comes to the sporting diamond. But is a crowded softball field worth $100,000 to the Gilroy City Council? That's the decision set to be made at Monday's meeting.
In March 2011, the council approved a project to construct improvements to the softball field at Sunrise Park with a budget of $50,000. The money was meant to cover three principal items:
1. A new, larger backstop.
2. Construction of two new dugouts with benches along the fences (requires new irrigation).
3. Infield improvements including new grass (requires new irrigation).
The city officially opened the bidding period for the project on Aug. 23, 2012 and received four bids from construction and seeding companies ranging from $84,500 to $108,205, all well above the original budget. The low bid, made by Perma-Green Hydro Seeding, Inc. did not comply with the bidding requirements and was scrapped, leaving the official low bid at $92,800, offered by Calstate Construction, Inc.
In a report prepared by Gilroy Public Works Director Rick Smelser, the new bid, although $42,800 above the original budget, is "deemed to be a true and fair price to construct the project."
The money discrepancy leaves the council at a crossroads. Councilmembers have been given several options moving forward, which will be discussed Monday evening. The options are as follows:
1. Approve an amendment to increase the budget to meet the low bid.
2. Reject the bids and downsize the project to stay within the $50,000 budget.
Downsizing would mean choosing either improvements one and two above, or improvement three. According to the report, it's not possible to stay within the original budget and perform all three improvements.
The $50,000 allocated in 2011 came from the Rancho Meadows Development Project. Smelser's report says the additional money needed to cover the lowest bid would come from the city's Fund 440.
Stay tuned to Patch to find out what the council decides.
So what should the council do? Is it worth it to nearly double the budget for the project to get the improved softball field? Should the city be worried about more pressing matters than sports? Or is there demand for the improvements? Tell us in the comments!
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