An $858,894 contract was approved by the Ceres City Council on Monday to begin grading the site for the new Eastgate Park as well as grass planting by hydroseeding and installing concrete walk, curbs, concrete benches, volleyball sand court, playground/exercise equipment, cornhole game boards, horseshoe pits, drinking fountain, trash cans and wayfinding signs.
The contract was awarded to Ross F. Carroll, Inc. the lowest responsible bidder.
The city has owned about 7.5 acres of the undeveloped 10-acre Eastgate Park site and the 10-acre Lions Park site on River Road between Central and Richland avenues but had little money to develop them. Construction is expected to start this summer on both parks with the balance of the work will be completed over time as funding becomes available.
The city is budgeting about $800,000 for each park, funded out of Public Facilities Fees paid by developers.
The city has been cautious about adding new parks because maintenance staffing levels are still short.
In January Vice Mayor Linda Ryno suggested both new parks need to be built with minimal landscaping, citing how she felt Marie Neel Park was built with too many plants for maintenance workers to handle. On Monday she wanted assurances that the Eastgate Park would not have a lot of landscaping concerns since the city doesn’t “have staff to take care of the weeds.”
“We’re not installing an irrigation system, we’re not installing any shrubs or any trees,” said City Engineer Daniel Padilla. He added that grass is required by state standards for erosion control purposes.
“We are planting grass seed but that will be dormant all winter and then it will grow in the spring. That will require little to no maintenance but we’ll have to mow it, I’m thinking six times a year.”
No landscaping is being installed currently. Padilla said some future landscaping strips will be covered in decomposed granite or mulch. Wood fiber will be installed in the children’s playground areas.