Payson tiptoed one step closer to completion of its splash pad when the Payson Town Council unanimously approved hiring Mountain Solutions, Inc. as project manager for $58,000 during its Nov. 18 meeting.
The splash pad idea has developed over the past three years from a community fundraised project to a town project. The budget has spouted up to $498,000, funded by a 50/50 grant from the federal government. That means the town pays for half the project and the grant the other half.
The grant has added requirements to the project the town did not plan for, such as a project manager with an engineering background and an environmental assessment. The grant allows the town to request more funding to cover these additional costs, however.
Unlike past announcements about splash pad progress, the vote to hire MSI was listed on the consent agenda. Council member Jim Ferris pulled the item to ask if the town didn’t already have staff that could fill the role.
“I was wondering, if with Tim Wright being our public works project manager, could we not have used Tim Wright? Did he not have the knowledge or skill sets needed to manage this project?” asked Ferris.
Town Manager Troy Smith responded Wright is not an engineer, so does not have the qualifications for the job.
“I had just hoped the town could save that $58,000, but ... I’ll make a motion to approve the item,” said Ferris.
MSI will not only provide oversight of the design and build of the splash pad, but will make sure that all codes and regulations are followed, so the project works within the grant’s requirements. MSI will ensure that all reporting for the grant is correctly filled out and submitted.
In her staff report, interim Parks and Recreation Director Christine Smith explained the town will pay $28,980 out of contingency funds for half of MSI’s contract.
“Without dedicated resources and related expertise, project delays and possible grant compliance issues could occur,” wrote Christine Smith in her report to the council.