New Haven Park Board rejects Jury Park renovation bids

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By ROD KING
For IN|FW Newspapers

In his report to the New Haven Adams Township Parks & Recreation Department board Monday evening at the New Haven Community Center, Superintendent Mike Clendenen recommended that the board reject the bids for the renovation of Jury Park. “The reason, they were all very high and well above our budget,” he explained, “and some companies that picked up bid packages didn’t even submit bids.”

The bids, which were received from several contractors, were for redoing the tennis courts to make two of them into pickleball courts, new fencing, resurfacing the parking lot, installing new lighting and redoing the electric service and constructing a gravel overflow parking lot.

The board voted to reject the bids and instructed Clendenen to get with the project engineers to reexamine the specifications to see where cuts might be made and then advertise the project for bidding. Clendenen told the board, “Savings can be realized by using the same light poles with new lights and instead of having the contractor bore under the parking lot for the electric lines it could be done by trenching on either end of the tennis courts.

“It’s possible that the City could help us with the concrete work and the overflow parking lot may have to be delayed. We may even have to move the tennis program to the courts at Havenhurst Park for next season and postpone the Jury Park tennis court upgrade. And, it’s possible that some of the work could be done by our own people.

“We’ll meet with the engineers to tweak the drawings, meet with the Department of Natural Resources and the City of New Haven to make sure we are in accord with their regulations before resubmitting the project to the State for final approval. We may extend the bidding time to November in hopes that contractors might be freer to accept new work. If the bids come in high again we may just have to do what we can with the money we have.”

Part of the project was to install an aquatic climbing wall at Jury Pool. “That may be changed to a 3-meter diving board in order to draw the teenagers. Cost of the two is very similar, but the diving board would increase our insurance liability rate by $250 a year. The diving board was always a big draw in the past and we feel it will be again,” Clendenen said.

Recreation Director Anna Gurney proposed that a charge of $1 per day per person for nonmembers be assessed for persons wishing to play pickleball on the court in the Community Center’s fitness center. It would apply for persons 14 years of age up. The court is available for play Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 4 p.m., but if the room is not busy could be used for pickleball every day. The new Community Center court brings the number of courts to three in New Haven. Four more are proposed for construction behind the Center.

Clendenen said that a public input meeting will be set for some time in September for discussion of the Stellar Communities Designation (only two were awarded in the state) to construct four pickelball courts, a basketball court, a sand volleyball court, a playground and a splash pad at the rear of the center. The second part of the proposal is extending the trail from the center through neighboring Meadowbrook to Moeller Road and Glenridge Manor Mobile Home Park.

“The designation allows us to apply for grants to fund the $2.5 million project,” he said.