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Trail rehabilitation to go back to bid

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The Spring River Trail rehabilitation will be going back to bid, after the city’s Infrastructure Committee voted to reject the recommended bid at its meeting Monday afternoon.

The vote was made at the request of City Engineer Louis Najar. Committee members Jacob Roebuck, Margaret Kennard and George Peterson voted to reject the $208,501 bid from Constructors Inc. of Carlsbad, the sole bidder for the project. Committee member Savino Sanchez was absent.

“Our budget is tight citywide. This one came significantly over budget, so what we want to do, engineering wants to take another look at it and see how we can pull some items from the bid so we can rebid it,” Najar said.

The bid specifications called for repairs to nearly a mile of the trail between Virginia and Atkinson avenues and was to include rebuilding damaged parts and patching others, as well as resetting fencing and installing solar-powered lights.

Najar said he also believes more repairs will be needed than were included in the bid specifications. Some areas of the trail are marked for repair from tree root damage.

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“It looks like some of the places we’re calling for repair have gotten bigger,” he said.

Najar said the city’s Engineering Department will look at what work can be done by city crews such as the solar lighting and striping at crosswalks.

Najar said the new bid will be advertised on Feb. 7 and will be opened March 9, which will allow it to come before the Infrastructure Committee that month. If approved, it would then go to the full City Council in April.

The project will be funded in part by the New Mexico Department of Transportation, and Najar said he had verbal approval from the department to rebid the project. NMDOT will provide $127,306.

Almost $82,000 would come from the city’s capital improvements budget, and Najar said that was a concern as that is also providing some of the funding for the renovation of the Boys and Girls Club building.

“I think that’s a higher priority in the queue right now,” Najar said.

Roebuck said he wants to make sure the community knows the city is committed to maintaining the trail, which spans 4.8 miles along Spring River from Enchanted Lands Park on the west to Spring River Zoo on the east. Roebuck said he had heard concerns from constituents about the trail from the downtown area to the zoo.

“I think maintenance of the trail is just one issue. Safety and security is another as well that we’re going to have to continue to address,” he said. “Let’s be sure we get a bid back here because the community does want to make sure the trail is maintained. It is an important asset to us.”

The committee also unanimously recommended several other items for full council approval on the February consent agenda:

• A request for proposals to create a pool of contractors for water main work. The pool of contractors will still make competitive bids for projects and also be available for emergency work, Utility Director Lorenzo Sanchez said.

• A professional design services agreement in the amount of $102,481 from HDR Engineering for improvements at the wastewater treatment plant. The Environmental Protection Agency on Jan. 1 changed limits for dissolved oxygen in effluent water discharged to the Hondo River. The city has three years to meet the new requirement, Sanchez and Najar said.

• Certification that the city allows citizen participation and fair housing and follows state procurement laws. The certification is a requirement of the community development block grant the city received for the renovation of the Boys and Girls Club building.

Solid Waste Director Abraham Chaparro also reported that 117 tons was collected at the city’s first bulk trash collection event Saturday at the Wool Bowl. Items too large for standard trash bins will be collected from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at these dates and locations: this Saturday at the Elks Pool on Southeast Main Street; Feb. 6 at Stiles Field, 800 S. Wyoming Ave.; and Feb. 13 at the old airport runway across from Cielo Grande Recreation Area.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.