More Delays for Grove Hill Park

The Grove Hill Park Commission met this morning, where it was announced by Chair Nancy Rogoff that bids for the remaining work to repair the Cottage Street retaining wall and planting to stabilize the adjacent hillsides would not be released until June of this year. Plans for this work were developed, approved, and budgeted for 2023. Part of the wall repair work was completed in the fall of 2023, until it stopped due to the weather.

The news that bids wouldn’t even go out until June came as a big surprise to Commission members Chantel Michalek, Megan Quinn, most of the other attendees, and me. I believed–with the scope of work already defined and funds encumbered–that bids would be solicited as soon as possible so that the work could continue as soon as the weather allowed.

Instead no Commission meetings were held in October, November, December, January, February, or March, and apparently no effort was made by the administration to prepare for work to resume in 2024.

I think waiting until June to bid out the remaining wall repairs makes it very likely that construction of the actual park will not happen in 2024. In what has become an all too familiar pattern for this park, it looks like we’ll have to wait another year for the village to deliver on its promise.

As I said at the meeting:

As pertains to the completion of the wall repair and the stabilization plantings that were approved, budgeted, money allocated, and scoped, I’m not buying the delay excuses. And I think it’s ridiculous.

I’m not buying the excuse that other projects and other work has delayed that now until June before even being going back out to bid.

Because we knew as soon as that work stopped, when the weather changed at the end of last year, we knew exactly what work had to be completed. We had a plan.

We had the bid and we had the scope of work.

And over winter we could have bid that work out so that it could be started as soon as the weather broke this year. We had really good success bidding out the work at Maple Street in the off-season, and we got a great response because it’s a slow time for that kind of work.

So I think it’s ridiculous that it’s not even going to go back out to bid until June, at which point it’s really not a great time to put in plants.

So here’s my guess.

Maybe the capstones will get put on, but no stabilization plants will ever go in, or won’t go in in June because it’s difficult to water.

So we’ll wait until the fall, and then we’ll stabilize it. And we won’t get to finishing the park.

We won’t want to do the major construction on the park until the wall cap is repaired and the stabilization plants are in.

So then the park construction project will slip to 2025, and this will just continue.

I mean, this has been the story of this entire park–has just been delay after delay after delay.

So I hope that doesn’t happen.

I really–honest to God, I really do hope that we get to construction this fall and we can put an end to this ridiculousness.

But based on my experience with the project so far I’m just going to assume that this will be a 2025 opening–if we’re lucky.

Immediately after today’s meeting, the next meeting of the Parks Commission was scheduled for May 29th and 8:30 am in Council Chambers at Village Hall. Hopefully we can keep this thing moving forward.