Construction on a new concession/public restroom building at Mickens Field soon will be underway, with completion targeted for the end of October.
The Dade City Commission awarded the bid and approved contract to Borregard Construction Inc., for the project, at 14318 Canal St., in Dade City.
The action came during a June 23 virtual meeting by a 4-1 vote, with Commissioner Nicole Deese Newlon casting a dissenting vote.
The city has $150,000 budgeted for the project, funded through the local government infrastructure surtax, also known as Penny for Pasco.
Borregard posted the lowest bid among six proposals received, in the amount of $89,750.
The company’s bid is all-inclusive and in compliance with specifications included in the city’s request for proposal, per a memo from Dade City Manager Leslie Porter.
That was a point of contention at a previous commission meeting on June 9.
City staff initially recommended entering contract negotiations with Ryman Construction of Florida Inc., who generated the highest evaluation score among six proposals and a bid of $113,727.
While the lowest bidder, Borregard’s evaluation score ranked fifth of sixth proposals, as city staff explained the company did not submit all requested information.
But, Commissioner Jim Shive disagreed with staff’s recommendation earlier this month, suggesting the city simply proceed with the lowest bidder, Borregard, a Dade City-based company with a 20-year running relationship with the city.
He reasoned the city should be more conservative with construction projects near-term, citing possible budgetary impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and cost overruns on previous projects.
He also argued the project — a 672-square-foot concrete block structure and roof — shouldn’t be a complicated undertaking for any construction company.
The decision was tabled until the June 23 meeting, so the city manager could review the matter and make another recommendation.
The Mickens Field building has a target completion date of Oct. 31. The old concession/restroom structure was demolished in late May by the city’s public works department.
In other action, commissioners unanimously approved preliminary construction plans for Hilltop Estates, a 250 single-family lot subdivision on 61 acres of land, situated off of U.S. 301 and Clinton Avenue.
Some other citywide updates shared during the meeting:
- Downtown sidewalk pressure washing is scheduled for July 5.
- The City Hall lobby will be open to customers beginning on July 6. Masks will be required and visitors will not be allowed in staff areas.
- Utility billing turnoffs and late fees will resume in August.
- The city has applied for a grant through the Florida Redevelopment Association, for transportation enhancements to the Roy Hardy Trail.
- City staff is gathering information on wayfinding signage, and will schedule a presentation at an upcoming commission meeting for further input and direction.
- Dade City Manager Leslie Porter is seeking to temporarily outsource the city finance director functions to a freelance accountant who has worked with other local governments, until a permanent replacement can be found.
- Sarah Rader was sworn in as deputy city clerk, taking over for Erika Cordoba, who is now working in the city’s planning and zoning department.
The June 23 virtual meeting marked a farewell for Mayor Pro Tem Eunice Penix and Commissioner Nicole Deese Newlon. Neither commissioner sought re-election.
Penix, a retired schoolteacher, served as a commissioner for nearly 27 years, dating back to August 1993.
Newlon, a commercial law attorney, served one four-year term after being elected in a three-way race in April 2016.
Penix took time to deliver some parting words to thank the Dade City community: “I’m grateful for the citizens of Dade City for allowing me to serve them for 27 years. I am so honored. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love all of you.”
Newlon did not offer any comments.
Fellow commissioners, meanwhile, shared positive words to Penix and Newlon for their dedication and service to the municipality.
They lauded Penix for her smile, wisdom and powerful invocations, while Newlon was regarded for her tenacity and overall sense of humor.
Some Dade City residents also weighed in, to recognize the outgoing commissioners for their contributions over the years.
Dade City resident Clyde Carter, a minister at St. John Missionary Baptist Church, said: “We do appreciate everything that they’ve done during their tenures, and continue to do things even past their tenures in the community. I do want to give a shout out this evening and we thank them very much from a community standpoint.”
Dade City resident Christopher King, who operates a youth mentorship charity and is running for Penix’s vacated commission seat, echoed similar sentiments: “I wanted to just say thank you to Commissioner Penix and Commissioner Newlon for their time and service on the commission, and their commitment to the community. All the things they have done is a tribute to their work ethic, loyalty and patronage to Dade City….and we will miss you dearly.”
Published July 1, 2020
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