Local Government

Park Board pauses maintenance building project during pandemic

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Apr. 9, 2020 12:01 am

QUINCY — The uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and how it could affect Quincy Park District finances led to the rejection of bids for the construction of a new maintenance facility in All America Park.

Meeting on a video conference platform Wednesday, commissioners on Wednesday rejected all bids, including the low bid of $456,692 from Building Systems of Illinois of Decatur, for the new building.

Commissioner Jeff Steinkamp suggested holding off on the project until the district knows what effect the pandemic will have on the district's financial position.

"I'm a little uncomfortable in today's environment and our financial situation," Steinkamp said. "I know we want to do this, but I'm just wondering 30 days, 60 days, 90 days from now, we're going to know a lot more about what is going to be happening with the district."

The district is seeking the new building because of needs for additional space and upgrades in equipment. The larger building would provide maintenance staff additional space to maintain district equipment. The current maintenance building was built in the 1960s.

Park staff initially recommended accepting the second lowest bid of $469,2078 from Laverdiere Construction, because of the district's positive prior working relationship and use of local subcontractors, but Executive Director Rome Frericks said after further research, staff was comfortable to move forward on the project with Building Systems of Illinois.

The district initially estimated the building would cost $401,000.

The Park District planned to pay for the project with $325,000 earmarked in corporate reserves, $75,000 from its annual capital projects bond and excess bond funds from projects that came in under budget.

In other business, commissioners learned that no one applied to fill the remainder of former commissioner Bob Gough's term. He resigned last month after he became executive director of Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials.

The board had asked that anyone interested to complete a questionnaire and submit it to the district by April 1.

Park Board President John Frankenhoff surmised that those who might be interested in applying were focusing on the pandemic and forgot to apply.

The board agreed that if it received any completed applications that it would hold onto them before addressing the vacancy when it can meet again in person.

Commissioners also approved the low bid of $12,487 from Leffers Landscape and Nursery for the second phase of improvements along the railroad tracks in Clat Adams Bicentennial Park. The project consists of interlocking stone pavers, new landscaping rock and weed barrier along the new fencing that the board previously approved.

The board also approved the annexation of Rooney and Denman Elementary schools into the district.