Local residents should see some construction work begin on the proposed Pocket Park in downtown Lamar, as well as some preliminary work by December, on the CDOT-Main Street renovation project.
The Lamar City Council acknowledged that the construction bid for the Pocket Park came in higher than anticipated, but decided to start work on the more affordable portions of the conversion and seek grants to pay for the balance of the costs next year.
The project was estimated by the City of Lamar at $150,000, but this past summer, the only bid received was priced at $315,000 by MonCor LLC. An agreement was reached by concerned parties, including DoLA and the park design team, following negotiations on the price which will see three portions of the construction put on hold pending additional financing. Angie Cue, Lamar’s Community Development Manager, told the council three areas totaling $120,150 would be set aside from the new construction plans. They are: pavers, painting and pergola, or shade coverings inside the park. That leaves the new construction project priced at $194,850.
Cue said, “If the initial funding is approved, MonCor can start the groundbreaking on the park very quickly and we’ll also start work on grant applications to finance the three areas that are on hold. The project is broken down into phases of development and the first phase can start very soon. The pavers would have been the final element of the project in any case.” The pavers are similar to sections of brick which would be inlaid into the flooring. Parks and Recreation Director, Rick Akers, explained that any leftover bricks would be used as replacements in the future. The council approved the amended version of the agreement with MonCor LLC.
Regarding work on the Main Street renovation project, Mayor Roger Stagner said it appears that CDOT will begin some preliminary work on the project in December. He explained that perhaps the median lights would be removed and temporary lighting would be installed along the edges of Main Street and some underground work on the water and electric infrastructure would also be moved to the sides of Main Street. The project calls for a new, concrete-paved Main Street, but the City of Lamar secured funding to replace the aging water and electric conduit system which would be completed during the first phase of the renovation. CDOT said that phase is expected to begin next spring and the total project should be completed by 2018.
By Russ Baldwin
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