“This is a total embarrassment on everybody’s end,” Mayor John Moor said at this week’s City Council workshop.
“Where are the policy-makers? I want to see a park there as soon as possible,” he said.
“It’s just that we can’t seem to get this park built and that seems like insanity to me,” Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn said at a previous meeting.
Moor said the council approved moving the project forward at its June 5, 2014 meeting and it was told the park would be completed this March 1.
“We were supposed to have a ribbon-cutting on March 15,” he said.
A $107,515 contract for the Springwood Renaissance Park was approved at the council’s June 5, 2014 meeting for the professional design, bidding and construction administration services to finalize improvements to the park.
Suburban Consulting was the lowest of seven bidders on the project, with the highest bid coming in at $236,000.
“It is quite a substantial undertaking,” said Kirk B. Danielson, a project coordinator for Suburban Consulting, based in Manasquan.
He said delays are due to surveying, soil testing, installation of utilities, drainage issues, landscaping and grading the site.
Danielson said the project is due to be bid soon and that it will take about 120 days to complete the project, possibly by the end of September.
“You hear our frustration and your help is appreciated,” Moor said.
Plans to build a bathroom at the park were withdrawn but now they are being put back into the design. Moor said that if the plans for the bathroom were in the original design then there should be no need to redesign the project for that reason.
“We want to look at the plan so there is no need to redesign it and then redesign it again,” Councilman Joseph Woerner said.
Most of the funding for the Springwood Renaissance Park is being provided through the Monmouth County Open Space Program. The city has already received two grants for $250,000 and has received the final, third $250,000 grant, although more money may be in the pipeline.
The playground is being installed at the north-eastern section of a large vacant lot on the 1000 block of Springwood Avenue, between Atkins and Union Avenues, just east of the new Springwood Commons, which houses the senior center. The entire park project is expected to cost $2 million.
The project calls for the installation of a fountain just south of a playground already there, with a courtyard, chess tables and a civic plaza that ends at a stage. An active recreation area will also be created at the western section of the park, surrounded by a jogging/running track around the perimeter.