Low Bid For Re-Sodding Field Nearly Triple Budgeted Amount
The second attempt to find contractors to re-sod Memorial Field drew $111,000 as the lowest offer.
Washington Township received four bids in response to a call for contractors to re-sod Memorial Field, according to Mayor Janet Sobkowicz.
The bids ranged between $111,000 and $176,000 for the project, compared to $40,000 set aside for the project in this year's budget. Sobkowicz said the bids ran higher than the last time the field was sodded because the winning contractor would have to remove the old sod and install the new sod, which would be thicker and of higher quality than the type used before.
Residents have been complaining about the condition of the field, which has netting sticking through its surface from the last time it was sodded. Members of the township's recreation board have asked the council to install artificial turf at Memorial Field, saying that would be the best solution for the problem that would also save money on maintenance over 15 years.
"It's blatently obvious sod does not work," resident Scott Spezial said at an earlier council meeting.
Officials have said this would be a good year, financially, to undergo the project because the township's debt load is decreasing by $400,000. However, they have been reluctant to commit to the project, which has been estimated to cost between $1.8 and $3 million. Council President Richard Hrbek has repeatedly said the council has a number of capital projects which need their attention, including repaving streets and possible renovations to the DPW and fire department.
"We need to be aware of the things that need to be done, prioritize them and make sure they get done," Hrbek said at the last council meeting.
At the last meeting, officials said they would vote on artificial turf at their next meeting, scheduled for June 11, if no bids for re-sodding the field came in.
Residents in favor of artificial turf previously expressed concern about how long the field would have to be closed for new sod to take hold. Sobkowicz told Patch the higher quality sod would take little, if any time before it could be used.