Correction: An earlier version of the story said incorrectly that the Fresno City Council approved a $520 million contract for renovations to Frank H. Ball Neighborhood Center’s swimming pool. The contract amount is $520,000.
They may not be the bright lights that many young ballplayers dream of in their futures, but the ball fields and basketball/tennis courts at Melody Park in east-central Fresno are in for a substantial lighting upgrade.
A $263,000 contract to install new energy-efficient LED lights at the park were approved Thursday by the Fresno City Council. Musco Lighting Systems is the contractor that will handle the work. Two new light poles will be installed as part of the project, and fixtures on six existing light poles will be replaced with LED fixtures.
“These fixtures will not only be more energy efficient, but will also allow for the ball field to be used as a dual-usage field for both soccer and baseball,” said Kyle Jeffcoach, recreation manager in the city’s parks department, in a staff report to the City Council. The first- and third-base lines of the softball field will each get one of the new light poles.
Also approved by the council on Thursday was a $520,000 renovation of the swimming pool at the Frank H. Ball Neighborhood Center in southwest Fresno. The pool work is needed to correct problems identified in a December 2015 correction letter to the city from the Fresno County Department of Public Health following an inspection earlier that fall. The correction letter listed basic requirements to bring the pool into compliance with state standards to obtain an operating permit from the health department.
Project manager Debbie Bernard of the city’s Public Works Department said the problems noted by the county included several handicap-accessibility issues, including removing a six-inch ledge around the edge of the pool and replacing steps at either end of the pool. New drains are part of the work, as is a new gate at the entrance and upgraded pumping equipment.
The council awarded a contract for the work to Davis Moreno Construction of Fresno for $519,799. While it wasn’t the lowest bidder from five proposals received, the contractor received credit in the bidding process under the city’s preference policy for local companies. The bids for the renovation ranged from just under $500,000 to more than $1 million.
The city had originally estimated that the work would cost about $350,000. The difference, according to bid evaluators, is that construction pricing has generally increased over the past couple of years as the economy has improved. “The construction industry is becoming overwhelmed with bid opportunities on the market, therefore enabling contractors to submit higher bids,” according to the staff report to the council.
“This has been a long time coming,” said Councilman Oliver Baines, whose district includes the Frank H. Ball park. “The community there needs a revamped pool.”
The pool was open last summer. The repairs are expected to be completed by the end of this summer, but it’s uncertain whether it will be done in time to be used for swimming this year.
Northeast water testing
In other action, the City Council agreed to extend its contracts with a pair of nationally recognized water and corrosion experts to continue investigating the sources of rusty water in homes plumbed with galvanized pipes in northeast Fresno.
The city has been working since last year with Marc Edwards, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, and Vernon Snoeyink, a former engineering professor from Illinois who now works with Los Angeles-based Water Quality and Treatment Solutions.
The two professors are continuing testing samples of galvanized pipe collected from local homes with water from the city’s Northeast Surface Water Treatment Plant to come up with chemical strategies to minimize leaching of rust, lead, copper and other metals from galvanized pipes.