Council OKs $333K bid for splash pad

Approved contract amounts will be reduced by plan changes, mayor says

Artist’s rendering of the proposed splash pad at Red Bay’s Family Fun Park. Photo courtesy of Red Bay City Hall

RED BAY | Area children are one step closer to having a new place to play and party in Red Bay this summer after the City Council on Monday approved a bid for construction of a splash pad.

Great Southern Recreation of Murfreesboro, Tenn., submitted the low bid of $333,124 for the construction and setup of the initial pad. Mayor Charlene Fancher told the Council that while that was the bid amount, the project’s cost will likely be reduced as changes will be made from the initial design.

“We’re making an amendment in that there were three shade structures in the original design and we will only need two,” Fancher said. This will save approximately $19,868.”

In addition to the splash pad the city also approved a low-bid contract of $79,116 to Garnet Electric of Sheffield for lighting at the pad and all around the park. This amount will also likely be reduced, Fancher said, as the city looks at different lighting options, such as LED lighting. In some instances, LED lighting is initially more expensive, but the long-term savings from switching to LED, both in energy consumption and bulb longevity, can be significant.

The $417,068 project is being funded through a $208,538 grant the city was awarded late last year, with the city putting up half the cost. The funds will also be used to construct a lighted basketball court at the Family Fun Park.

Council members discussed the project and how it will enhance the city.

“This is going to be something to be proud of,” Councilman Jason Vison said. “To have facilities like this in a town the size of Red Bay is going to make some other (communities) jealous.”

Changes coming to pool

The arrival of the splash pad will also usher in changes to admission at the pool and the park’s operation.

Parks and Recreation Director Dean Hubbard told the Council he and Fancher have been meeting to discuss additional operating hours as well as now charging admission for young children now that they would have the splash pad available. The pad will only be used by children.

“There will be a certain age and height requirements to use this,” Hubbard said. “In years past the park hasn’t charged for kids (age) five and under, but will now. They will be arm banded specifically for the splash pad. We’re looking at fees for all of it because we will have to add one more lifeguard to watch the pad.”

Changes in admission amounts have not been finalized, nor have plans on whether there could be parties for children just specifically for the splash pad, though that is being discussed. Also being discussed is possibly moving the park’s opening ahead an hour to 11 a.m.

Other business

Also during Monday’s meeting, the Council:

Approved Ordinance 2019.02.04, which addresses zoning of RV parks, camping parks, recreational vehicles and RVs parked in residential areas.

Approved Shannan Ozbirn filling the unexpired term of David Reynolds on the Dixie Youth Board. The term ends August 1, 2019.

Announced the city will participate in the 2019 Severe Weather Preparedness Tax Holiday will be observed February 22, 23 and 24. More information on this holiday will appear in next week’s Red Bay News.

Monday’s meeting was in lieu of a what would have been a regular meeting next week. That meeting was moved ahead due to the President’s Day holiday. The next schedule meeting of the Red Bay City Council is on Monday, March 4 at 7 p.m.