Park Group Recommends Ballpark Overhaul

At its Jan. 24, 2012 meeting, the Ann Arbor park advisory commission unanimously recommended a nearly $1 million contract to renovate softball and baseball fields at three city parks.

If approved by the city council, the $982,333 contract would be awarded to RMD Holdings of Chesterfield, Michigan. That amount includes a $893,030 base bid plus a 10% contingency of $89,303. It was the lowest of four bids received for the project, which will focus on the fenced ballparks at Veterans Memorial Park, West Park and Southeast Area Park. Originally, the city had intended to include fields at Allmendinger Park as well, but bids came in higher than expected and that work was eliminated from the project.

The renovations have been in the works for more than two years. At PAC’s September 2010 meeting, commissioner David Barrett gave a report on the condition of the city’s ballparks after personally surveying them. There are 26 fields owned by the city, and 28 at Ann Arbor public schools. [.pdf file of Barrett's ballpark report] According to a staff memo accompanying the Jan. 24 resolution, no major restoration work has been done on the fields in more than 10 years.

Staff from Ann Arbor Rec & Ed, a unit of the public school system, will work with city staff on this project – Rec & Ed programs are the primary users of these fields. Construction will likely begin in mid-August of 2012, with fields ready for use again in early spring of 2013. Red & Ed plans to cancel its fall season to accommodate the project.

Funding will be drawn from three sources: (1) $250,000 from the approved FY 2012 parks maintenance and capital improvements millage budget; (2) $64,000 from an unobligated remaining fund balance in the expired park repair and restoration millage; and (3) $668,333 from the unobligated fund balance of the existing parks maintenance and capital improvements millage.

This brief was filed from the second-floor council chambers of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]