Turner Park splash pad vendor selected

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The design and features of the Turner Park splash pad are now coming into focus. The McGregor City Council, at its July 17 meeting, selected a proposal from the vendor Vortex-Commercial Recreation Specialists for the project.

Jake Deaver, senior project manager with MSA Professional Services, which is engineering the splash pad, said he met with city administrator Lynette Sander and councilwoman and Turner Park committee chair Janet Hallberg last month to discuss what they’d like to see incorporated into the splash pad. They received four proposals back, and a group evaluated the submissions prior to Wednesday’s meeting.

“I thought you got some pretty good proposals,” Deaver said, “but the best one that fit what you were looking for was Vortex and CRS.”

The splash pad will be located behind the ballpark at Turner Park on a 32-by-66-foot concrete pad. The project will have a flow-through, rather than a recirculating, water system and include multiple play features that will spray visitors with water from both the ground and overhead.

Deaver said the city has budgeted $150,000 for phase one of this project. Vortex also submitted a plan for phase two implementation, at a cost of $100,000, should the city like to add more features and a shade structure at the site in the future.

“They’re used to working with phased projects,” explained Deaver, “so they can take some of the plain ground sprays and turn them into vertical features.”

The project will go out to bid this fall.

Hallberg said she’s excited to see the details coming together.

“Turner Park has come a long way,” she noted, “from the track to the playground equipment to the splash pad.”

At the meeting, Deaver added that he has also spoken with Superior Building Center, in Monona, about designing a combination restroom/concession stand for the park.

“They don’t have architecture and engineering in-house,” he said, “but they can lay it out and provide CAD drawings and specs.”

The project cost would fall below the $139,000 bid threshold, so the city could solicit different local tradesmen to complete the work, Deaver said. 

“That’s much more cost effective,” he stated. “The city will just have to get water and sewer to [the site] and make sure there’s a spot [for the structure].”

Main Street sewer project

The council determined a committee consisting of Sander, mayor Lyle Troester, streets supervisor Ren Pape and councilmen Jason Echard and Joe Muehlbauer will individually rank the requests for qualifications the city received for engineering the Main Street Sewer Project. They will then get together to select the highest-ranking firm.

The proposed project will address sewer main infiltration and inflow problems in the 100 to 600 blocks of Main Street and as needed on A Street from Main to First Street. It may include replacement of sewer mains and manholes, the addition of manholes, and the exploration of options to correct issues related to a siphon located at Main and A streets that must move sewage from lower Main Street under the historic storm sewer channel that is located on A Street. As an alternative to replacement, the engineer may determine if other options, such as pipe bursting or lining, are feasible to reduce traffic flow problems that will result in the business district, which is part of Highway 76/U.S. Business 18.

“This is a really important project, and we don’t want to dilly dally around,” said Troester, who’s hopeful the project will resolve the issues that necessitated the pumps on Main Street and Triangle Park this spring and summer. 

The city is pursuing a variety of funding options for the project, which Troester said could, collectively, cost around $2 million. Councilman Charlie Carroll wondered if there was any way issues could be resolved without having to complete the whole stretch.

“We may be able to chunk pieces of that out,” Sander said, “but you have to have an engineer look at it,” no matter what.

Right now, added Troester, “we don’t even know where to dig.”

Pape had hoped the pumps could be removed as the Mississippi River dropped, but found that, within hours, the flow rate becomes too much for the sewer plant to handle, resulting in flooding in property owners’ basements. The main culprit is not the river, but the ground water. The pump on Main Street is handling 150,000 gallons per day, he noted.

The excess water has also made it impossible to scope the lines and detect problem areas. With some engineering assistance, said Pape, “we can try to get by temporarily and get the pump off Main Street,” until more long-term work can be done. “I want it gone just as much as the citizens.”

Speed bumps

The council approved the purchase of speed bumps for Center Street, following resident concerns about speeding in that area. They also gave the go-ahead to get speed bumps for Ann Street, a directive that was approved over two years ago but never carried out.

GRRRR sponsorship

The council agreed to be a sponsor the Great River Road - Road Race, which will be held Oct. 5, at an amount of $1,001.

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