REDINGTON BEACH — Long-discussed improvements to Friendship Park moved one step closer to realization Feb. 5 as town leaders selected a contractor for the work.

Kloote Contracting of Palm Harbor was unanimously picked for the job based on the company’s bid price of $50,663, winning out over three other firms. Town Planner Bruce McLaughlin recommended Kloote in a memo to the Town Commission, writing that it was the “lowest responsive and responsible bid.”

The project calls for demolition of the existing pergola at Friendship Park, installing retaining walls, and adding paving.

Construction of a new pergola will be bid separately.

A related project to relocate a stormwater outflow pipe on the northeastern edge of the property is awaiting approval by county officials.

Town Attorney Jay Daigneault will now prepare a contract between the town and Kloote. He will have to negotiate 10 “clarifications and exceptions” to the initial bid proposal requested by the contractor. One, the requirement for tree grates, will most likely be eliminated, McLaughlin said. In another instance, Kloote indicated it planned to use subcontractors for some of the masonry work. The use of subcontractors was prohibited in the town’s proposal.

Renovation of Friendship Park has been discussed by commissioners for at least a year. In May, Commissioner Dave Will presented architectural renderings of potential changes at the park.

In other action, Commissioner Fred Steiermann said preliminary planning was underway for a celebration in April of the 75th anniversary of the founding of Redington Beach.