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By Allison Jarrell
The City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday to move forward with the Northwest Open Space community park project by utilizing its current contractor, NUVIS, for design work rather than initiating a Request for Proposals process, which staff said would have delayed the project for several months.
The vote also included removing or reducing five elements in the park’s design—which were identified as unnecessary by the park’s Putuidem committee—for a cost savings of $202,000, including: removing an equestrian ADA ramp from the staging area; removing bleachers with a shade structure in the staging area; reducing the scope of the picnic area entry monument/signage; reducing the shrubbery by half while maintaining all culturally significant plants; and more.
Councilman Reeve said he voted no because, while he supports the project, “there are certain financial realities” the city has to face.
“Many residents want to develop or improve properties like The Oaks … Reata Park, the sports park, Los Rios Phase II, the skatepark, etc., and right now we don’t have any money,” Reeve said. “We could do some of those things, but we’re spending all of the money on this park.”
The final park design will return to the Council for approval. City Manager Ben Siegel said with the aforementioned cost savings, no further appropriation of funds will be needed for the city’s $1.7 million design budget.