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2 Contracts Related To Pacific Park, Senior Center Projects Approved

Sulphur Sulphur Springs City Council this week during their regular December meeting approved two contracts related to the Pacific Park improvement and Senior Citizens Center construction projects.

Community Development Director Tory Niewiadomski recommended the council approve of the contract as proposed with MHS Planning & Design, LLC, for professional services for design and engineering for a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department grant for Pacific Park.

Steel frame for the new Grays Building going up at Pacific Park

Niewiadomski explained that MHS Planning assisted the city in 2019 with the parks and recreation master plan outlining future improvements at the city’s parks

In addition to the master plan, MHS also worked with city officials in December of 2019 on the 50/50 Local Parks Grant application submitted to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department seeking $1.5 million to apply toward identified improvements at Pacific Park, specifically the redesign and upgrade which is to include a new pavilion and playground equipment.

In August, TPWD awarded the city a$750,000 which the city will match. The parks grant includes a line item to fund design and engineering for the project, up to $125,000.

The fee submitted by MHS for professional services was $98,605. Niewiadomski said the bid falls within the thresholds for the grant, thus, city staff recommended awarding the contract to MHS for planning and design. Half of MHS’ fees will be paid for using grant funds and half from matching city funds. City Manager Marc Maxwell was authorized to execute the approved contract.

The parks grant does not include funding for the new Grays Community Building, already in progress thanks to funding approved by Sulphur Springs residents in November 2019 for both Pacific Park construction and improvements and a new senior citizens activity center. Earlier this week, the Grays building project began another phase with the steel frame work being installed.

Screen capture for the Dec. 1, 2020 Sulphur Springs City Council meeting conducted via Zoom and streamed on the City of Sulphur Springs Meetings YouTube channel.

The City Council also approved a contract with the Economic Development Corporation to share costs for the construction projects. Voters in November 2019 agreed for up to $200,000 per year for the next 20 years to be paid from EDC funding to go toward repayment of Series 2020 combination tax and revenue certificates of obligation for Pacific Park improvements and the new senior center building to be constructed on Oak Avenue.

Essentially, Sulphur Springs Finance Director Lesa Smith explained, the contract simply obligates the funding to be paid each year in August, dating back to this year, for the parks projects debt.

The contract legally outlining the obligation of the EDC to pay was recommended by the city’s auditors, Maxwell noted.

Smith said this is the same agreement the city had with the EDC for construction of Coleman Park two decades ago, just for more money each year. The EDC already made the first $200,000 payment in August.

The City Council also approved five lease agreements at the old Thermo Mine/Luminant property and authorized the city manager to execute the documents. The documents pretty much the same leases approved by the City Council last year: four agricultural lease and a lease to Hopkins County for use of sand from a pit at the southeast corner of the old mine property. The rates remained the same. Together, the leases generate $20,381.20 in revenue annually.

Author: Faith Huffman

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