A sports park in Pearland’s fast-growing west side is still in the works, and a city council decision to repackage and re-advertise for bids has paid off to the tune of $6 million.
A new bid received for construction of the planned Shadow Creek Ranch Park complex is still over the original budget, but much better than the sole bid received the first time around.
City staff said there are more opportunities for price reductions.
“We’ve got a laundry list of items, nine of them, we are looking at for inclusion, to report back in two weeks for dropping those,” City Manager Clay Pearson told the council.
Construction on the long awaited park was expected to begin in June, but City Council in May rejected the sole bid because it was a $7 million over budget. The city then opted to re-bid and split up offsite work and landscaping as separate items.
Though the council received word about the new bid, the contractor submitting it hasn’t yet cleared all the work with subcontractors to solidify the bid.
Councilman Keith Ordeneaux urged city staff not to recommend removal soccer fields from the plan, saying instead that scoreboards can be funded elsewhere. Councilman Scott Sherman agreed.
“We have a lot of folks out there who play soccer, who are upset there are not more fields for soccer,” he said. “I’m going to fight for that soccer field.”
Part of the reason was that potential bidders were tied up with work, and didn’t have bonding capacity for a large-scale project, city officials said.
The sports park project is part of a bond package voters approved in 2007 – which, in economic terms, may seem more like a century ago than a mere 7 years.
“We waited seven years to even get that project off the ground,” Sherman said. “This was seven years ago. The voters have a whole new list of what they want. We can’t sell something to voters, let it sit there and wither on the vine and then get to the point where we want to scrape dollars off there.
“We have kids who were 7 years old when this was approved who are now 15 or 16,” he said. “We need to keep all that in mind as we move forward on this project and other projects in the future.”
A spokeswoman for Brazoria County MUD No. 26 and Brazoria-Fort Bend MUD No. 1 addressed the council about possible funding.
The regional parks sports complex is located within both MUDs, which are anxious for the park, she said, and willing to jointly finance public water, sewage and drainage facilities for the park.
Sherman said he has some concerns with MUD assistance.
“I would need to hear from citizens in addition to those MUD board members,” he said.
“If we’ve got an entity that’s going to bring money to help bring money to the table, I don’t see turning that down,” Councilman Tony Carbone said. “I understand the concerns, but they were elected in their process.”
City staff predicted the item will be brought before council to approve a contract at its next meeting in two weeks.