One the day prior to installing a new deepwater boat ramp being pushed into Lake Ponca on Tuesday morning, discussion at Monday ‘s Board of Commissioners meeting at City Hall centered on continuing improvement and enhancement of municipal recreation. As soon as a massive mound of dirt put in place at Lake Ponca to facilitate the ramp’s early morning installation can be moved, preparation will begin to install the last segment of paved surface for boaters.

City Engineer Jim Fairbanks presented commissioners with a proposed contract with local firm Evans and Associates in the amount of $123,323 to pave the final loop and upper area above the boat ramp pushed into the water the next day by another local firm, Sober Brothers Inc. Fairbanks said that this will be the pull-around loop that will be used for trailers to line up before backing into the water. It is the next to last piece to complete the project. Commissioners approved the contract and also voted on another contract to make repairs at the Ponca City RecPlex lap pool.

Some careful cost cutting led to the acceptance of the contract with Evans and Associates, as the firm’s initial bid came in at 17 percent higher than the engineer’s estimate for the project. Fairbanks noted that while four contractors attended the required pre-bid meeting with the City, only Evans and Associates actually tendered a bid. Three items were pared from the contract to arrive at the final figure. The elimination of earthwork and solid slab sodding for a grassy “island” area inside the loop will be performed by municipal city workers instead of the contractor which should help save $8,400.

The sod itself will be purchased and installed by the Parks Department with Newell researching a cost of solution of spending $2,750 to purchase the sod internally,  cutting another $9,940 from the contract. Finally, a concrete abutment and 7-inch thick concrete walkway at a cost of $9,100 was cut from the contract with the Streets Department estimating it can complete the work with less than $1,000 in materials. All city labor will be considered an “in-kind” effort, and those costs will not be levied against the overall project budget.

As to repairs needed for the Ponca City RecPlex lap pool, experts will be called in to make the needed refurbishments. Newell explained that the pool had experience failure along the edges. Part of the problems apparently stemmed from the failure of the original installers to include expansion joints in the work, and improper leveling of the surface area. Newell said that only one contractor submitted a bid for the project. The project is delayed until March, and the pool would then be closed for 30-45 days for repairs. The board also apporved a 60 day project to resurface Turner Street stretching from Prospect Avenue to Donner Avenue.