Skatepark Construction Contract, Budget OK’d

A $1,224,311 budget for the Ann Arbor skatepark was recommended for approval by the Ann Arbor park advisory commission at its June 18, 2013 meeting. As part of that, a construction contract of $1,031,592 with Krull Construction of Ann Arbor was recommended. The project, which has been years in the works, will move to the city council for final approval, possibly at its July 15 meeting.

Ann Arbor skatepark, Wally Hollyday, Ann Arbor park advisory commission, Veterans Memorial Park, The Ann Arbor Chronicle

This conceptual design by Wally Hollyday for the Ann Arbor skatepark at the northwest corner of Veterans Memorial Park was approved by the city council on Jan. 7, 2013.

The originally approved budget for the project, to be located at the northwest corner of Veterans Memorial Park, was $800,000 – though the expectation was that the project would cost about $1 million. The total budget now – including the construction contract, 10% contingency and $89,560 design contract – is $1,224,311, or $424,311 higher than the originally budgeted $800,000.

Also on June 18, PAC recommended approval of the operating agreement between the city and the nonprofit Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark. Trevor Staples, FAAS president, was on hand at the meeting to field questions from commissioners. [.pdf of operating agreement]

The 11-page agreement outlines the responsibilities and scope of services to be provided by each entity. Regarding maintenance, for example, the agreement states:

Maintenance of the Ann Arbor Skatepark shall be provided by the City, a contracted service under the City’s control, or by volunteer groups that are programmed through the City’s volunteer program opportunities. City shall provide general oversight of the Skatepark infrastructure, such as making periodic inspections similar to neighborhood playground inspections. The City shall maintain records of staff costs, materials and supplies, and equipment costs related to the maintenance of the Ann Arbor Skatepark.

A later section on funding states: “The City, at its discretion, may decide to contribute to the payment of maintenance and operations for the Ann Arbor Skatepark.”

The skatepark will be guided by a new skatepark advisory committee, with members to be appointed by the city council and meetings held at least twice a year.

The city had issued a request for proposals (RFP) to build the skatepark earlier this year. Krull had originally turned in the lowest of three bids, at $1,191,738. Other bids were from Bernco Inc. ($1,251,104) and Gerace Construction ($1,275,273). Because all bids were considerably higher than the anticipated budget, parks staff negotiated with Krull to lower the amount by changing elements of the project. Those changes, according to a staff memo, include “replacing decorative ground cover with grass, plant plugs with seed, replacing rebar with structural fibers, and eliminating some decorative boulders.” In addition, “soil spoils” will be left on site to save on hauling costs. Krull also offered to cut $10,000 from its contract. All of these adjustments reduced the contract to $1,031,592.

Funds to pay for the skatepark include a $400,000 grant from the Washtenaw County parks & recreation commission, $300,000 from the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources Trust Fund, and $100,00 raised by the Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark, which paid for the skatepark’s design. According to a staff memo provided to PAC, additional revenues for the project have now been identified from these sources:

  • $155,463.60 from uncommitted funds available in the parks maintenance and capital improvements millage fund balance. It represents about a quarter of the total $600,000 in the uncommitted fund balance.
  • $80,000 from the city’s stormwater capital budget for rain gardens, to be repaid as a loan to the State Revolving Fund (SRF). The city expects a 50% loan forgiveness on this amount.
  • $32,356 from the FY 2014 parks memorial and contributions fund (the Feldman Trust) for landscaping plantings.
  • $30,356 from the FY 2014 parks maintenance and capital improvements millage.
  • $22,977 from the FY 2014 parks and recreation services general fund operating budget – from the “parks fairness” funds resulting from other budget amendments made by the council.

In addition, up to $103,159.26 in uncommitted funds is available in the parks maintenance and capital improvements millage fund balance to cover a 10% construction contingency. Any unspent portion of this amount will be returned to the fund balance.

These recommendations will be forwarded to the city council for consideration. The council had approved the skatepark’s design at its Jan. 7, 2013 meeting. It was designed by Wally Hollyday whose firm, Wally Hollyday Skateparks, also has construction oversight of the skatepark.

This brief was filed from the second floor council chambers at city hall, where PAC holds its meetings. A more detailed report will follow: [link]