CDD Discusses Next Steps in Landscape Bidding and WPV Plaza Renovations

Before Engineer Robert Dvorak began his report, Chairman Matt Lewis asked for his thoughts on an issue that came up at the previous meeting regarding parking at the intersection near Marchmont Court in West Park Village. Dvorak agreed that cars parked so close to the end of the road were causing an impact to site distance but felt that taking away these much-needed parking spaces would cause real issues for residents. Lewis agreed to take no further action for the time being.

Moving on to his report, Dvorak was pleased to inform the board that the fieldwork survey for renovations to the West Park Village Plaza had been completed and would be sent out to the architect and board very soon. This will help move the timeline for the project forward.

After last month’s CDD workshop, attorney Erin McCormick followed up with Ivy Clinton of VHB Architects. McCormick wanted to ensure that the board went through the correct bidding process for the project but had concerns about how it would be structured. The board had planned to bid different components of the project separately (i.e., landscaping, utilities, bell tower repair and fountain installation). However, McCormick questioned why the board was not looking to hire a General Contractor to coordinate the project, specifically referring to the impact this could have on any liability issues that might arise. Lewis explained that they would save considerable costs by not hiring a general contractor and they had confirmed that Field Supervisor Doug Mays was comfortable overseeing the project. McCormick explained that using CDD staff would also require a very structured process of public notices and hearings. The board was under the impression that it was unlikely there would be one company that could complete all the different areas of the renovation and pointed out that Mays had successfully coordinated renovations of the communities three parks in recent years, which required working with multiple vendors. They resolved to wait and hear from Clinton once she had received the fieldwork survey.

Moving on to the preliminary timeline for the Landscape RFP, District Manager Andrew Mendenhall walked the board through the process, which was going to differ from previous years. To avoid the board having to look through many different proposals, the CDD’s landscape management company, OLM, recommended an RFQ process that would pre-qualify responses from prospective vendors. These would then be ranked at next month’s meeting and the top five invited for a site visit before putting together their final proposals. McCormick had some concerns on how the board would adopt the criteria for the pre-qualifying process. Supervisor Chris Barrett requested that Paul Woods of OLM be invited to the next workshop to discuss the process further and that Mendenhall provide them with different ranking templates to review. Mendenhall also pointed out that the district’s current bidding document prohibits the use of the weed killer glyphosate (the key ingredient in Roundup). He added that this request is unique to our district and that alternatives to glyphosate are three times the cost. Barrett pressed that there is recognized research into the negative effects of glyphosate and Lewis agreed that this should also be discussed at the next workshop.

The board unanimously approved two expense items brought to them by Office Manager Sonny Whyte. Five new picnic tables will be purchased for Glencliff and Baybridge Park to replace ones that have been at the parks for 18 years and are in disrepair at a cost of just over $22,000. And new signage for Harbor Links should arrive in 6-8 weeks.

At the request of the board, Mays received a second quote to mitigate lake erosion at five sites in the community, including Glencliff Park. The quote came in at twice as much as the original bid from Cross Creek Environmental and Mays was eager for the work to be authorized so that it could be completed during the dry season. A motion was approved 5-0 for Cross Creek to complete the work at a cost of $50,880.

Mays had recently completed a walk-through of the Village Green with Barrett to address concerns brought up by the neighborhood’s voting member, specifically the condition of the grass at the park. Mays explained that Bermuda grass was not currently available in Florida, but another option was to replace the sod with St. Augustine grass, specifically a more resilient St. Augustine variety called ProVista. Mays said this would give the park a lush look, and the board approved replacement of the park’s sod with ProVista at a cost of $13,125.

New Supervisor Reggie Gillis took this opportunity to address one of the key areas he would like to explore while he is on the board. He is eager to take a more holistic approach on improving Westchase green spaces and to get much more community input.

The monthly CDD meetings are open to the public and the board meets next on April 4.

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