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Casey protests hiring engineer firm to oversee Smyrna Park renovation
Smyrna Park renovation work
Work has been taking place to renovate Smyrna Park since October. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/ Courier file photo

Councilman James Casey cast the lone vote against hiring a local engineering firm to oversee the construction of Smyrna Park improvements citing its $115,000 cost.

Casey wondered if the contract with GDR Engineering in Ceres was necessary since the city just hired a new engineer in Michael Beltran, who attended his first City Council meeting.

The Smyrna Park renovation began under City Engineer Kevin Waugh who abruptly resigned on Jan. 8. 

Public Works Director Samir “Sam” Royal explained that the state requires a registered engineer as part of the grant requirements.

“Our full-time engineer … doesn’t have the time to do that, to be on site every day,” said Royal.

He explained that Waugh was “way overwhelmed

by the requirements of the state.”

Royal also explained that the grant funding will cover the costs of the engineering contract.

McFadden Construction Inc. is the contractor on the project with an original anticipated completion date sometime between March and May 1. A 10 percent contingency brings the total contract to $3.23 million. Most of the project is being funded by a Clean California Local Grant Program (CCLGP) grant administered by Caltrans. The project will also use $1.3 million of federal ARPA funds given to the city.