The City of Kodiak just received special permission from the State of Alaska to spend grant money it hasn’t actually received yet to complete both phases of upgrades at Baranof Park.
In April, the city and Ohno Construction of Seattle negotiated a lower bid price to come within just a few dollars of the $3-million available. Because of budget limitations the project was split into two phases, with only the first part being scheduled for this year. That was the new track and artificial turf football field. But with a sizable appropriation from the state legislature, not only can the parts removed from phase 1 be put back, but all of phase 2 can be done this year.
By doing both at once, City Manager Aimee Kniaziowski says the project will actually cost less.
— (Baranof Park 1 29 sec "We got underway with phase … save the city some money.")
The list of items that can now be done include new football goal posts, asphalt paving, adding a "bear" logo to the field, and more artificial "field turf" behind the end zones and on the infield of the baseball diamond.
— (Baranof Park 2 20 sec "What’s covered in the change … that change order.")
While the City of Kodiak owns Baranof Park, it is most extensively used by the schools, which are under the Kodiak Island Borough, so the improvements are being funded jointly by the two governments. At Thursday’s meeting, City Councilman John Whiddon wondered if the borough has come through with matching funds yet:
— (Baranof Park 3 36 sec "Since we just went through … some amendments to that.")
Recognizing that the funding was the work of Kodiak’s powerful delegation to Juneau – Gary Stevens is Senate President and Alan Austerman is House Majority Leader – Councilman Terry Haines gave thanks where it was due:
— (Baranof Park 4 11 sec "I just want to thank our … it moved up to the front burner.")
The original contract price after items were removed in April was $2.97-million. The change order is for over $1.5-million, bringing the total park renovation up to $4.6-million. The state legislature actually granted the city $3-million, which was $1.9-million more than the city requested. Kniaziowski said there has been interest in divvying up the excess among park user groups, but she plans to work with community and school representatives in identifying and reviewing needs for funding.