Park board to alter improvements project


BRETZVILLE — The bid for a set of improvements at Dubois County Park was double than anticipated.

"It was sticker shock for us," said Christine Prior, president of the Dubois County Park Board. "I was expecting it to be a little over, but I wasn't expecting it to be 100% over."

Now, park officials are looking at what can be done to continue with a project.

"We do not feel that we over designed anything," Prior said. "So we are working with the architect and the contractor, and just seeing where were we off on our estimate. We do have some time, luckily. But we want to get this project underway. And our priorities are the restroom and the (RV) campsites."

The park board has a master plan for various park improvements that will be worked on over several years. The first set of improvements that was put for bid included adding RV campsites, a restroom building/information center and a paved parking lot near the restroom building, as well as making trail improvements.

The Dubois County Commissioners opened last week the only bid that was received. The bid total was just over $1 million, twice as much as expected and two times more than what the park board has available. The park has a 250,000 Land and Water Conservation grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and $245,400 in its coffers.

In the bid review that is underway, Prior found out that there will be a lot of utilities that will need to be installed near the new campsites. "We didn't realize how expensive that would be," she said.

Also, there is a shortage in materials and supplies for projects; that production was disrupted by COVID.

"It did affect what the contractors were about to put down as their bid," Prior said. "They couldn't underbid something and then not be able to buy the supplies."

Park board members will go over options at the board's meeting next week. That is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 6, at the Dubois County 4-H Fairgrounds' Clover Pavilion building.

"We want to make sure that all the board members have input," Prior said. "And if the public is interested, they are welcome to attend. All of our meetings are open to the public."

Prior believes a solution will be found so that a $500,000 project can progress.

"It may end up being that our phase 1 is phase 1A and phase 1B. But we will move forward," she said. "We have to make sure we've got the money available to do it."

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