Prince Drewry Park to get parking lot facelift

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published July 6, 2016

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Prince Drewry Park will receive parking lot improvements, but the timeline is currently unclear.

On June 23, one bid was received and processed by the Clinton Township Clerk’s Office, and the bid — of which the amount was not publicly revealed — was reviewed by Mary Bednar, director of public services, and the Clinton Township Planning Commission on June 24.

At the June 27 Board of Trustees meeting, township staff and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recommended rebidding the project with the intent to draw more bidders.

Also, the lone bidder’s request exceeded money allocated within the township’s community development block grant funds.

Besides the issue of having limited bids, another issue was the timeline of construction.

Scott Chabot, senior project manager for the township’s engineering firm, Giffels Webster, said the intent — which includes having accessible parking use — was to complete the project by Aug. 10.

Treasurer Bill Sowerby said that timeline would not gel with events taking place in the area at that time, including the annual Quinn Road Reunion. He stated that the project was discussed in the spring, and he thought it would be completed in early to mid-summer.

Otherwise, he advised waiting to start the project — which officials stated would take about a week or a little longer — perhaps in September.

“The other concern is that if there’s heavy equipment out there, things of that sort … things can happen in construction all the time, and I’d hate to see anything occur that disrupts this event that happens every year,” Sowerby said.

Chabot said he could put a provision into the contract that if a contractor could complete the work ahead of time, then they could proceed as usual.

“But if we’re nearing that time, say probably 10 days to two weeks before and work hasn’t commenced, in the contract for bid documents I would put a provision that the work would not commence until after the event is complete,” Chabot said.

Bednar added to Sowerby’s point, saying that Prince Drewry Park is not just busy just for the Quinn Road Reunion.

“We have several reunions that have 50 to 100 people, family reunions,” Bednar said. “We may push it back to September; we may get some better prices and, on top of that, not inconvenience any of the reunions.”

The CDBG funds, which Planning Director Carlo Santia stated are from 2013 and 2015, need to be used by October or they could be lost.

There’s about $25,000 in 2013 dollars, and $40,000 in 2015 dollars.

“We need to be assured that, one, this project’s going to happen this year with those 2015 dollars,” Sowerby said. “And two, that it’s not going to happen so late in the season that we’re going to have problems with construction.”

Both Sowerby and Township Attorney Jack Dolan suggested doing the bidding earlier and doing the work later, just so bids are locked in.

Dolan said he didn’t believe the township would again encounter a situation where just one bid was received, and he hasn’t encountered such a scenario with HUD.

“The choice is (to) delay the project so you don’t disrupt these planned events, or go forward now — but if they go forward there’s no question it will be disruptive to some events,” Dolan said.

The parking lot improvements, which will be along Quinn Road and Kentucky Court, will involve pulverized asphalt mixed with gravel, so that public services can reshape ground because it’s continuously moving. The whole lot will be completed, including three required handicap parking spaces.

Chabot said a 10-foot concrete strip will be added so gravel doesn’t migrate onto driveways. It allows for easier maintenance when it comes to scraping and leveling.

Sowerby told concerned residents who were present that he is just as disappointed with how long the project has taken. However, he said pavilions, drinking fountains and bathrooms have been redone. Future improvements are in the works too, such as a refurbished baseball field. 

“Unfortunately, we have a limited amount of budget. … We’re doing the best we can with what we have and trying to make sure we’re spending our money wisely, but also getting something that’s safer and can be maintained in the future,” Bednar said.