Changes are coming for Veterans Park
The equipment and workers have transitioned from Cloquet's Fauley Park to Veterans Park over the last few weeks, and renovations to Veterans Park are in full swing now.
The equipment and workers have transitioned from Cloquet’s Fauley Park to Veterans Park over the last few weeks, and renovations to Veterans Park are in full swing now.
Construction workers have been busy removing sod and pouring the base for the Veterans Wall. Residents can see the paths dug out to create new sidewalks, tiny flags marking the way. The foundation of the Veterans Wall can be seen growing minute by minute as workers build it skyward.
“The footings are poured. They are going to pour the inner concrete this weekend, the above-grade portion of the wall,” said City Engineer Caleb Peterson. “It will depend on the weather this fall if they can actually mount the panels this fall or wait until spring.”
Peterson said the granite panels with drawings representing the history of the various wars fought by the United States will be created soon. The granite has been purchased and will be fabricated at Picture This On Granite, which is subcontracted to make the design on the granite.
(Editor’s note: See drawing of wall with this story.)
Other work underway at Veterans Park includes the addition and/or improvements to drainage, water and electrical supply to enable the park to continue to grow and hold events of various sizes, such as the the recent Wood City Music Festival and July Fourth events that bring in thousands of people.
The project needs to be completed by May 31, 2017 under the terms of the contract with Short Elliot Hendrickson (SEH).
Workers contracted with SEH began construction on the parks project in July at Fauley Park, tearing up sod and sidewalks alike as they made obvious improvements including new sidewalks, lighting and landscaping around the train. Families have been spotted enjoying the spruced-up park already this summer.
One of the ongoing issues with Fauley Park has been ATV riders cutting through the park, tearing up grass and creating a mess. Now there are new signs to help guide ATV users to where the vehicles are allowed.
Less obvious but still important is the new drainage system.
At the regular Cloquet City Council meeting Tuesday night, council members approved several change orders for the Fauley Park project.
According to the city staff, occasionally during the course of construction, unforeseen conditions arose which forced them to alter the scope of the work. When a unit price for the extra work was not included in the original contract, staff negotiated a price with the contractor, amending the original contract. The recommended changes are then brought to the council for authorization to amend the contract in the form of a change order, which is what was presented at the meeting.
There were three change orders presented by SEH for Fauley Park.
The first requested change was to switch from one ton of limestone to 16 tons of taconite tailings to be put around the train for a dust-free surface as well as better draining. While the price was negotiated down due to the total amount ordered, it still brought up the final cost to $3,930.
The next request was necessary after the crew was surprised when they encountered bedrock while digging, which needed to be removed before the storm drainage piping could be installed.
After the additional costs, including labor and rental of a tractor as well as disposal of the bedrock, the cost increased by $4,226.
The third change order was made after SEH determined they needed drainage items for the small area drains as well as PVC storm piping. The two drain structures were $476, the PVC pipes cost $1,220 and the core drills were $610 for a grand total of $2,306.
The original price for the two parks was estimated at $1,282,668. The addition of the change orders raised the cost by $10,462 and will be paid from the Fauley Park Sales Tax Funding.
The parks projects are largely being paid for with revenues collected through the local sales tax.
In other City Council business, the final budget will be presented at the next regular city council meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20.