New Aquatics Center and Park Projects to Begin

Updates on two long awaited projects, aquatics center and park, were the largest agenda points at the latest Killdeer City Commission meeting on May 18.

By Pam Kukla 

For the DC Herald

The commissioners heard from JEDUNN and JLG on the bids received for the aquatics center. The bids were successful and 67% were local suppliers. There were two items pending based on the cost of the project, surveillance and sound system. Final decisions on those items will come afterwards depending on how much money remains; more money bigger systems, less money smaller systems.

Some line items came in higher than expected and others lower. Items like pool equipment and electrical came in higher, but engineers stressed going with cheaper and different pool equipment and electrical would impact the performance and longevity of the center. Pool equipment and electrical suppliers are within in the area which did help save some money on the project. Material supply cost of sand and gravel came in high but the city has found possible local suppliers to cut that cost. Engineers said material costs are high because of all the road construction taking place. The big savings for the aquatics center was the concrete parking lot. The bid was lower than expected, lower even than asphalt. Engineers said based on the design and materials the aquatics center will be a hearty sustainable building.

The bids on Phase 2 of the new park also created much discussion among the commissioners. Unlike the aquatics center, bids came in much higher than expected forcing the commissioners to make some adjustments. “We really can’t rebid because it would move everything back too far,” explained Mayor Chuck Muscha about the changes discussed.

The skate park, tennis courts, basketball courts, irrigation, lighting, trash cans and fencing were all discussed as options. “We looked at other ways to trim costs but the skate park, tennis and basketball courts are for the young people and the community and are important,” Commissioners also discussed waiting on the irrigation, but because of the amount of dirt work required to put in the irrigation it was decided it would be easier to put it in now and cheaper. Smaller costs like trash cans and fencing were options that could easily be adjusted or added later. It was finally decided to postpone lighting until later so the park could be started right away. The commissioners, on advice by counsel, accepted the bid with possible negotiations that wouldn’t change the architectural design of the park.

The commissioners also approved the first reading of the amended all-terrain vehicle ordinance. Police Chief Eric Braathen said there have been issues with four wheelers being used to run errands or young kids riding with no helmet.

There was also a proposal for park bench advertisement by Bakken Bench Advertising. The benches are concrete and wood with advertising on the back support. It was suggested the benches be placed around the walking path, along businesses on Hwy 22/Central Ave. and along the sidewalk by the school’s playground. The city would receive 15% of the advertising as well as a park bench to promote tourism. The city would have final approval over the selected ads. Commissioner Anita Mjolhus questioned possible maintenance problems, “Would their placement make shoveling sidewalks more difficult for the city crews?” Mike Ayeres from Bakken Bench Advertising said their company maintains the benches and would locate them to make any clean up easy. Muscha asked for the company to provide a map with possible bench placement and lease agreement to review before any decision was to be made.

The commissioners also approved a request from the planning and zoning to change easements on corner lots. They did turn down a request by Verizon to place a tower within the city. Current ordinances don’t allow a 100 ft. non lighted tower within the city.

A progress report on road projects was also given to the commissioners. The cold temperatures caused some problems with concrete. They used blankets on the concrete already poured to protect it from the cold temps and put off pouring any more until the temperatures improved.

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