Improvements coming to community center and Hammock Park

The city commission is set to rubber stamp approval of a new shelter and bathrooms for the community center and a park at its meeting Thursday (July 2).

The city will pay $26,900 for a picnic shelter in Highlander Park at the community center and $42,610 for a prefabricated concrete bathroom for Hammock Park. The items are on the consent agenda,  a part of the meeting that typically gets passed with little debate.

But those costs are just the tip of the iceberg.

An additional $18,430 is needed to pour a concrete pad and walkway and to actually put the prefabricated hexagonal steel shelter together.

The ADA compliant bathroom site will be prepared and the final connections will be made by city workers.

AES Precast Company out of Northport, Ala. bested three other contractors with their bid for the bathroom.

Art Finn, Parks and Recreation superintendent, looked into the company, whose bid came in under the $50,000 cap.

“I have checked the references provided by AES Precast and found their precast restrooms have satisfied other clients,” he wrote in a letter to Chuck Ankey, the city’s purchasing manager.

All this spending during a bad economy?

The money for the picnic shelter project comes from a state grant that helps cities improve their recreation amenities.

The new bathrooms are paid for with money from the Parks and Recreation capital improvement budget.

The city was awarded a grant in 2006 from the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program that pays 75 percent of costs as long as everything is installed by April 30, 2010.

The $45, 330 for the “Apache” shelter by Americana Building Products and construction of it are part of a $130,000 project that also includes a new playground and walking trail at the community center.

A Boundless Playground, shade structure, swings and toddler playground already have been installed for $72,783.

Ultimately how much does the city pay? According to city records Dunedin will fork over $32,500 for the new park amenities and the state kicks in the other $97,500.

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