Kilgore rejects ballpark bids

Kilgore rejects ballpark bids
Longview News-Journal
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - 9:01am

Kilgore residents will have to wait longer for a new baseball complex after the City Council rejected bids for buildings and groundwork Tuesday.

The decision came at the same meeting the council approved an annual contract with Expert Lawn Care to mow about 84 acres of city-owned property.

Director of Public Works Seth Sorenson suggested the council reject the bids after the proposed construction costs for the concession stand and fields came in above budget.

“(The bids) came back higher than we had hoped for and well beyond the budget we had allotted for this project; so, quite simply, we are looking for other alternatives,” Sorenson said.

The bids to design and construct buildings for the complex came in at $342,000 from Key Building Systems and $394,000 from Transet Co.

Key Building Systems also was the only company that submitted a proposal for site construction for the baseball complex, which came in at about $2.96 million.

“We obviously need to generate some more interest and possibly look for some of our local contractors, (and) that should also bring down some of those costs,” Sorenson said.

The complex would add six fields to the city of Kilgore’s baseball infrastructure and would be built in part to allow for tournaments to be played across from Driller Park.

In May, the City Council approved a nearly $500,000 bid for a company to install lighting for the complex.

Sorenson said the city will revisit the project and see if there is a way to cut down the scope and cost of the work.

The council also approved a bid to hire Expert Lawn Care to mow areas of city property.

The firm was one of two businesses to respond for a request for proposals to cut the grass at all city property other than the water treatment plant, waste water treatment plant and golf course. The city will pay the company $151,000 annually.

Sorensen said the contract would free up city workers and would allow mowing to move from a 10-day cycle to a seven-day cycle.

Work will begin Aug. 1 and continue until the end of October. It will begin again in the spring.

The council also gave an unofficial approval to a request from the Gregg County Historical Museum to hold its annual cemetery tour at the Danville Cemetery.

“We don’t have it on here to take a vote on this, but I don’t think we need to,” said Mayor Ronnie Spradlin. “I think Kilgore is excited about it.”

The event began in 2011 and has volunteers research and portray historical Gregg County residents who are buried at the cemeteries.

It was held at Grace Hill Cemetery in 2011 and at Greenwood Cemetery the past two years.

Read more from the Longview News-Journal.

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