Pell City Council approves deal to rebuild Children’s Castle | News


THE CITY OF PELL — The city council of Pell has approved an agreement for the reconstruction of Kids Kastle.

At a meeting on Monday, the board approved payment of $631,821.95 to Play By Design for equipment, materials and labor needed to completely rebuild the Lakeside Park playground. The city had previously approved the use of $700,000 in capital improvement funds to pay for the project. The council had approved the project itself in February along with a preliminary budget, including both installation by Play by Design and site work by the city for a total of $682,500.

The project is intended to replace the current Kids Kastle which was built in 2001.

Parks and Recreation Manager Bubba Edge said in February that the new Kids Kastle will have a soft-surfaced walkway to make the playground more accessible to people with disabilities, as well as specially designed facilities for people with disabilities. He said the revamp will have a total of 3,174 square feet added, which includes a dedicated area for children ages 2 to 5.

City manager Brian Muenger said a decent chunk of the new playground fixtures will be assembled offsite by Play By Design and then installed at Lakeside Park.

Edge said, regarding the project schedule, he would meet with the street department on Wednesday morning to work out the details, but the plan was to start installing temporary fencing and other site preparations this week. He said his team would begin demolishing the old playground, except for items such as its original wooden fence and signage, on Monday.

Muenger said the Play by Design team will arrive on May 22 and installation will continue between May 22 and June 10.

Edge said he hopes the city will be able to reopen the playground a week later.

“We hope to be able to reopen on June 18,” he said. “There is a lot of work to be done. I know it seems like a long time, but there is a lot of work to be done.”

Councilor Blaine Henderson asked Edge if there was any use for some of the equipment currently in use at Kids Kastle. Edge said some local churches had asked to get the slides, although he said only two of them were reusable. Muenger said the city could consider that option, but the slides in question would have to be surplused before giving them to anyone.

The original Kids Kastle was entirely funded and built by community members as a massive civic project. Former St. Clair County Circuit Judge and Town of Pell Mayor Bill Hereford, who helped oversee volunteers for the project, said more than 2,000 people helped build the field. Game.

Muenger said the city-funded reconstruction aims to continue that legacy. He said the city even accepted a donation from the original Kids Kastle committee for the project. Although Muenger did not specify the amount of the donation, he said the city appreciates it.

“The community came together 20 years ago, they created something extremely special at Lakeside Park,” he said. “It lasted for 20 years. It’s a whole generation of kids running around and playing and having fun, so we wanted to keep that level extremely high.

Muenger said the new Kids Kastle will be a mix of old and new and he thinks it will be very special for the community. He said he was looking forward to being able to celebrate the completion of the project.

In other areas, consulting

—Approval of a user agreement for Lakeside Live;

—Approved the final dish for Fox Hollow Phase 5 Sector 2;

—Approved the final dish for Sumter Landing Phase 1 Section 2;

—Approved a project agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation through the Local Road Safety Initiative for safety improvements on Mays Bend Road. The total cost of the project will be $121,962.50, with ALDOT contributing $58,612.05 toward construction costs. This amount represents 90% of all construction costs.

—Approved an agreement with Neel-Schaffer Inc for engineering services in the amount of $56,838 for the Mays Bend security project;

-Approved the purchase of a John Deere tractor for $109,102.01 and a bush ax arm for the tractor for $92,780.24. The article will be used by the street service and was included in the CIP budget;

—Agreement approved with Fred Owen Construction for the replacement of the level crossing on Bamberg Drive in the amount of $60,492;

—Approved the hiring of part-time employees to the wastewater treatment plan not exceeding an hourly rate of $35 or 20 hours per month;

-Approved payment of $20,844 to Southern Software for use of its mobile date information system by the police department. The software will have an annual cost of $1,734 and will allow officers to perform tag and background searches from their vehicles;

—Approved an agreement with Southern Software regarding connectivity and use of the St. Clair County computer-aided dispatch system for a lump sum of $1,000; and

— Held an executive session regarding security measures that may involve life safety, and no action was taken after the board exited the executive session.


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