Depending on the results of bids and if the weather cooperates this summer, Milton area youngsters could be cooling off in a new splash park play area by the end of July.
The Milton City Council on Tuesday night voted unanimously to seek bids for the long-talked about splash park in South Goodrich Park. It’s the second attempt to request bids for the project. The council shelved the plan last June after receiving only two bids that both exceeded the city’s preliminary cost estimates.
Updated estimates presented to the council Tuesday night indicated it could cost $320,231 to construct the splash park this year. Estimated seasonal maintenance would cost $9,461. So far, monetary and in-kind donations for the project total between $50,000 and $51,000, Milton City Administrator Jerry Schuetz said.
The splash park is one product of the Goodrich Square redevelopment plan, which was adopted in 2010 to prepare Milton for the impact of the new State Highway 26 bypass. Funding for the splash park will be provided through a combination of fundraising and revenue from Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) District 8.
“Continuing to bring children and families into the community I think is going to be beneficial,” Schuetz said. “I’m very cautious about saying any one thing is going to be a magic bullet. A splash park, a YMCA or Blackhawk Technical College in and of themselves doesn’t save us from the impact of the bypass and won’t save downtown businesses. It’s all of those things together collectively … that consistently bring people into a community.”
Schuetz said he was expecting a better response to the bid request this year by starting the bidding process earlier than the city did last year. In 2012, bids were being reviewed in May and had a tight 60-day timeline for completion.
This year, bidding will remain open for three or four weeks and construction would be expected to take between 12 and 14 weeks, Schuetz said. He added that Fitchburg recently requested proposals to construct a similar splash park and received 25 bids.
The council’s Tuesday night vote authorizes city staff to begin immediately working with engineering firm SAA Design Group to prepare bidding documents for the project.
The city council also voted 5-0 to approve the purchase of six police radios for School District of Milton buildings within the Milton Police Department’s jurisdictional boundaries. Alderperson Don Vruwink arrived at the meeting after the vote.
The radios will give designated and trained school staff members direct access to the Rock County 911 dispatch center during “critical incidents,” eliminating the need to go through the phone system to request help. The radios also allow Milton police officers to hear status updates directly from school staff during emergencies.
Five of the radios will go to the five schools located within the city limits and one will go to the main district office. The Milton Police Department will provide training for designated school district staff members, as well as routine checks to make sure the radios are working properly.
The radios will cost a total of $4,694 and will be purchased from Bandt Communications in Janesville. The costs are being split between the City of Milton and the School District of Milton.