Merced City Council to consider McNamara Park renovation bid

The Merced City Council will consider awarding a bid for renovating McNamara Park and adding interpreting services for council meetings at its meeting today.

The city received a $2.6 million state grant to renovate McNamara Park, including the playground area, a new performing arts area, new restrooms, new landscaped boulevard and picnic area, video cameras for security, turf field fencing and a new grass multipurpose field. The City Council has awarded a $630,563 bid for two artificial turf fields for the park, according to a news release from the city.

The project went to bid earlier this year, and all three bids were over $2 million. Staff trimmed the project, eliminating exterior fencing, parking lot reconstruction and some other work, and in the new round of bidding, Avison Construction came in with a $1,462,377 bid. Staff is recommending adding ramps for the disabled and a splash pad to the base bid to bring the total price to $1,540,377.

During a January policy discussion, council members had wanted to “continue to increase transparency” and one way was to use Spanish and Hmong translators at council and town hall-type meetings. The council must decide if it wants to have translation services provided for the entire meeting, oral communications and public hearings or just oral communications. Costs of providing the services would range from $1,536 to $9,600, depending on how much time is spent during the meetings, according to the release.

The council will hold a public hearing for a taxi business application for A-1 Taxi Cab. The Merced Police Department is recommended denying the application because there is not enough demand for an additional cab company. Two cab companies and two bus companies currently serve the city.

The council also will consider a supplemental appropriation for $100,000 to evaluate the potential for damage at the Bellevue Ranch West flood plain.

Council members will meet in closed session at 6 p.m. to confer with legal counsel regarding initiating two cases of litigation and one case of significant exposure to litigation, according to the release. The regular meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the council chamber on the second floor of the Merced Civic Center, 678 W. 18th St.