By Bill Short
The Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen has adopted a resolution to accept a company’s proposal to update the playground surfacing in three city parks.
Board members took the action during their Oct. 12 regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Hank Hawkins and seconded by Alderman Chris Ford.
The motion was passed by four affirmative votes, with Aldermen Larry Dagen, Frankie Dakin and Thomas McGhee absent.
The resolution states that the city issued a Request for Proposals for playground surfacing updates in Aycock, Lions and Oak parks.
It notes that the RFP provided a general idea of the city’s expectations, while seeking recommendations from vendors regarding the best solution for each park.
The updates are designed to bring the parks into compliance with standards of safety and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
On Oct. 5, proposals were received from four companies.
The resolution states that, with a proposal of $34,776.90, Playworld Preferred offered the best response in terms of recommendations and cost.
While noting that Millington is allowed to negotiate, the resolution states that the city expects to lower the cost to the $30,000 it originally allocated in the Capital Improvements Program Budget for the 2016 fiscal year.
During discussion shortly before the vote, City Finance Director John Trusty said that, in all three parks, the material under the playground equipment is pea gravel, which is not considered safe.
He noted that the city, rather than Playworld Preferred, will remove it.
“They gave us separate prices for that in their original proposal,” he said, “so we know how much we’re taking out for that. But we’re also asking them to look at any other areas where they might be able to reduce their cost.”
Trusty acknowledged that Millington had originally expected this project to cost $30,000 this year and the same amount next year. So, it had planned to only do part of the parks each year.
“Because Playworld came back with such a reasonable price,” he noted, “we’re going to be able to do all of our parks this year.”
In response to questions by Alderman Mike Caruthers, Trusty said part of the new material is “shredded wood fiber,” and the other is a “poured-in-place” type of product. While noting that it is as durable as the “shredded-tire” material but not as expensive, he said its “life expectancy” is 10 years or longer.
“From what research I did on it myself on the Internet,” Trusty said, “every couple of years, you’ll come back and put a little bit more on top of it. There’s no ongoing maintenance to it.”
Mayor Terry Jones said the project is the result of a request by Kate Armitage, director of the Millington Arts and Recreation Department, that the state inspect all the playgrounds to determine whether they are in compliance.
He noted that the present surfacing material is one of the “deficiencies” discovered.