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Upgrades planned for Archibald Park
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Proposed upgrades for Archibald Park include enhancing the Gulf Boulevard side of the Snack Shack by installing windows, an awning and stairs accessing a wrap-around deck.
MADEIRA BEACH – Up to $1 million dollars in improvements to the city of Madeira Beach’s gateway Archibald Park will likely go forward, once the City Commission resolves issues with certain parts of the job and makes a final contractor selection.

An extensive list of proposed improvements to the park was discussed at the Jan. 22 commission workshop. These include interior and exterior renovations of the Snack Shack cabin, renovation of the bathroom facility, parking lot improvements including lighting, and new landscaping and deck.

Upgrades to the park have been talked about for several years, but delays have kept the project from proceeding. The latest involved difficulties with the three bids submitted, but these were sufficiently resolved.

The commission decided to invite Kloote Contracting Inc. of Palm Harbor, the apparent low bidder, to come and discuss the project at a special workshop meeting to be held prior to the regular commission meeting on Feb. 12. If all goes well, the job could be awarded that night.

Cost of the improvements has also been a concern. About $200,000 had been budgeted this year for the job, with the idea that the work would be spread over several years. In September, cost of the then-planned park improvements was estimated at about $400,000.

The bids currently submitted were close to $1 million for the entire job.

The bidders had been asked to break down the job into individual projects, and the commission decided to exclude an archway entrance costing around $80,000 along with an interior spiral staircase for the cabin, which the Snack Shack manager said, is not needed. What to do about the entrance and exit will be decided later.

City Manager Shane Crawford recommended using a portion of accumulated Penny for Pinellas funds, which the city gets from the county, to pay for the Archibald Park renovations. That money, which currently totals around $2 million, is “just sitting there waiting for capital projects,” Crawford said.

Other revenue sources discussed were funds from city-owned parking meters and about $600,000 in Gulf Boulevard beautification funds the city is due to receive from the county.

Crawford said he would present the various payment options at the February meeting.

Although the Kloote firm was the lowest overall bidder for the total Archibald Park renovations, bids for the individual projects were varied among the three companies competing for the job. Vice Mayor Robin Vander Velde suggested dividing the projects among the bidders, a move that Crawford said would cause “absolute chaos.”

Assigning the projects to several contractors could actually increase the overall cost, said Steve Tarte of CPWG Engineering, the firm overseeing the job.

“You get economies of scale when you do all the work with one contractor,” Tarte said. Also, “If you have three contractors doing the job, you’ll spend a big piece of change with me keeping track of them.”

Mayor Travis Palladeno said he was in favor of moving ahead with the Kloote firm.

“I want to keep the momentum going,” he said.

Commissioner Nancy Oakley said she wanted to meet all three bidding contractors, but Commissioners Terry Lister and Nancy Hodges said they were satisfied with limiting the discussion to Kloote, the lowest bidder.

“You are obligated to go with the low bidder,” Crawford reminded the commission.

City seeks $2.5 million in oil spill damages

More revenue may be headed the city’s way if a claim for damages suffered from the 2010 BP oil spill is successful.

City Attorney Thomas Trask told the commission that the attorney assessing damage from lost revenues which the city incurred as a result of the spill has put the total at $2.5 million.

A claim for that amount will be submitted, Trask said. Madeira Beach is among a number of beach communities that are seeking compensation, mostly from alleged declines in tourist and fishing related businesses.

City projects update

Central Services Director Dave Marsicano gave an update on the progress of ongoing city projects:

• Beach walkovers – Replacements have begun, with work starting at Archibald Park and progressing south.

• Automated parking system – “Pads” are being poured and installation of the new units is beginning. The changeover from meters to pay stations is due to be completed by March 1. The project is ahead of schedule, Marsicano said.

• New signs – The branding of Madeira Beach is going ahead, with new beach accesses and walkover signs “all up.”

• Public Works building gone – Demolition of the Public Works building is complete.

• City Center project – Reconstruction of the city hall and fire station, and associated projects, is awaiting funding options from staff and the city’s bond counsel. This is due to be presented to the commission in late February.
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