Council attempts to quash rumors on park project
By BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
Mt. Pleasant City Council members attempted to slow the rumor mill during last night’s regular council meeting.
Judging by comments from city officials, renovations at Central Park and the square area have put the rumor mill in overdrive.
“People are getting second- or third-hand information on fantasy rumors about what is happening around the square,” noted Councilman Stan Curtis. “I hate to spoil a lot of breakfast and coffee club rumors but they aren’t true.”
Here is what is happening in Central Park: The area will undergo mass renovations will begin after Old Threshers and extend well into 2014.
Mike Nelson Concrete of Burlington received the bid for the concrete and infrastructure work. Nelson beat out four other bidders for the work, submitting a bid of $339,103.37, considerably under the engineer’s estimate of $400,012. Bids ranged upward to $495,677.57.
Work will include new sidewalks throughout the park, improved drainage, replacement of the existing water and electrical infrastructure and reconstruction of one half of the 100 block of South Main and South Jefferson and West Monroe streets (streets which border the square on the east, north and west side). Reconstruction of the streets will be from the edge of the park to the center of the street.
Engineer Jim Warner of Warner Engineering Associates Inc. of Mt. Pleasant said the sidewalk in the park needs replacing because it is not ADA compliant.
Jack Hedgecock, general manager of Mt. Pleasant Municipal Utilities, said that his firm will do a mass overhaul of the infrastructure in the park. “We will be replacing 100 percent of the existing electrical and water infrastructure. We are going to put everything underground. We are going to put in LED lighting and will have some relocation of the lights and new electric pedestals.
“We will replace the water distribution to and in the park,” Hedgecock continued. “We will install eight water points for vendors. It will be a large project for us and require the coordination of many people.”
Mayor Steve Brimhall said the project is long overdue. “The electric has needed replacing for a long time. While we have it torn up, we want to put it back together so it does not need tearing apart for a long time.”
Warner said residents should not expect to see the project completed until well into the spring of 2014, noting the contract sets a completion date of late May 2014. “We don’t expect it to be done into well into next year because there is so much work to be done. Realistic expectations are that it will not be done until next year.”
Although no timetable has been firmly established on where reconstruction will begin, city officials said indications are that street reconstruction will occur first.
“It is not going to be an easy project,” Brimhall emphasized. “The park may not be able to be used for a while. It will be a mess, but we hope like every other project we have done, the wait will be worth it.”
Council members meet again in regular session Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. in City Hall.