Fort St. John city councillors approved a $1.377-million redevelopment plan and construction contract for the Surerus Park soccer fields on Monday.
According to a May 9 council report, work includes reconstruction of the park’s two soccer fields, including the installation of irrigation as well as trail development between the two pitches from 105 Avenue to existing park trails, and new trail lighting.
“Obviously the soccer pitches won’t be able to have soccer on them but we’re working very hard to make sure that the work is completed so slow pitch can continue there,” public works director Jeremy Garner told councillors on Monday.
“There will be some shutdowns to the trails. Our trucks have to cross the trails with material going in and out, so there will be trails that are closed for the day. We’re going to try to have them open in the evenings.”
City councillors were on the receiving end of a highly-charged letter from Fort St. John’s soccer club last year, which criticized 13 years of inaction to address the poor state of the fields, which the club said have caused injuries to young players.
The letter later led to a meeting between the club and city staff about the deteriorating field conditions.
The city budgeted $2.31 million for the redevelopment, with councillors approving a $1.377-million construction tender to Northern Legendary Construction of Charlie Lake.
Three other bids were submitted by Knappett Industries ($1.96 million), S. Young Enterprises ($1.29 million), and ACL Construction ($1.69 million).
Garner told councillors Northern Legendary was selected using the city's "best value" procurement process instead of awarding the work to the lowest bidder, as is tradition.
The council report notes the best value process was used "in recognition of the complexity and strategic importance of this project."
And in the report, CAO Milo Macdonald noted, "The best value procurement process continues to provide excellent and competitive value for taxpayer money.
"It is particularly effective on larger value procurements such as this one," he said.
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