KINGSBURG – It’s been years in the making. Kingsburg’s Skate Park is just a month away from a ground-breaking ceremony after a decision to award a construction project was approved at Kingsburg’s latest City Council meeting.
“I’m just thrilled that we’re finally here after how long we’ve been working on this,” Mayor Michelle Roman said. “Finally being here, I think this is very exciting.”
This first phase of Athwal’s Park improvements will include a playground, the skate park structures and fitness equipment.
At their June 4 meeting, Kingsburg’s City Council unanimously approved awarding a contract to Fresno’s Steve Dovali Construction that turned in the lowest base bid at $456,928.70.
Also included in the improvements will be sidewalks, park lighting, drinking water fountain, wrought iron fence and gate, bike rack, preparation of base material for pour-in-place rubberized playground surface, landscaping and irrigation.
The City will purchase the skate park equipment at a cost of $235,803.50 and supply it directly to the contractor for installation. With another approximately $35,000 in construction administration and inspection costs, this first phase comes to a cost of $727,732.20. A large portion of funding - $600,000 will come from the Tri-County Healthcare District. More monies will come from the city’s general fund ($40,000), a state parks grant ($75,000) and a donation from the Kingsburg Lions Club ($25,000).
Engineer Dave Peters said they’ll work with the contractor to bring down the cost of lighting in order to afford a shade structure.
Councilmember Vince Palomar asked if the skatepark had been designed with skaters in mind. Roman said it was actually local Kingsburg youth that worked with American Ramp Company to help design and select a variety of equipment for skaters of all ages and abilities. Also, youth that use wheelchairs should also be able to use it.
“If we’re going to do this, I want to make sure it’s a nice skateboard park and challenging for teenagers and adults.”
Roman said different ages and abilities will be able to use the facility.
“Austin Bratton helped spearhead that since he’s a big skater. He said this is something that will be great for me now, but if you were a little one starting off, there’s area for them so they can grow into it as well.”
Peters said the skate park will be installed in two phases. It will include a four-foot fence to keep smaller children out and any boards that become airborne contained.
Later, more parking, a restroom and splash park will be added in another phase.
An official ground-breaking ceremony will be announced later.
“It’s an exciting time since this has been a long time in the making,” Roman added after Council unanimously approved the bid.
In other matters, Council:
- Heard an introduction of the 2019-2020 fiscal budget by City Manager Alex Henderson. The budget will be officially approved at an upcoming meeting.
- Gave Community Services Director Adam Castaneda input on needed park upgrades that would be funded by potential Prop 68 grants. The funds will go to create, expand or revitalize city parks. The Community Services Commission recommended Heritage, Bicentennial and the Dog Park have priority. Council make a recommendation that Athwal Park be put on the list to see if Prop 68 funds could help complete projects there.
- Heard Interim Fire Chief Tim Sendelbach’s Fire Department update. Sendelbach shared that as the fire season ramps up, they’re already experiencing an increase in calls for service by 11 percent since the beginning of the year. “We’re up 66 calls for EMS and 27 calls for fire. That’s a pretty substantial jump. I remind you that when you look at 66 calls, those aren’t five-minute calls. They’re upwards of four hours so it’s a pretty significant number.” Sendelbach said they average six calls per day. KFD’s new engine 141 is having decals installed, will have its chassis lowered since it will be used primarily in cities rather than in battling wildland fires and will have equipment mounted in July. The Department is conducting annual required hose testing, thus if the public sees the fire crews spraying water, the procedure is needed to meet requirements. “We want to make sure our equipment is ready so you may see our folks out there testing the hose,” Sendelbach said.
- The Fire Department crews took part in a multi-agency training at the Kmart building and in active-shooter training with Fresno County agencies. The KFD is entering an educational agreement with Columbia Southern University and has upgraded their in-house workout facility.
- Approved a letter of support for the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint. The company will open a new customer experience center in the immediate area that will bring 1,000 new jobs to the County. Henderson said T-Mobile representatives have been meeting with local officials to tout the potential benefits including the number of jobs created, average employee salaries and contributions to the local economies.
- Heard a proposal by Kingsburg Historical Society’s Michael Dunn to install educational displays around town with information on various historic buildings and sites. Since local elementary schools take walking tours throughout Downtown, the goal is to enhance their educational walks. Later the stopping points could be modified to include self-guided tours. City Manager Alex Henderson said Kingsburg’s Lions Club would donate to the effort and will have Dunn submit a micro-grant request to fully furnish the historic pedestal displays.
- A new B-Safe Inspection that local small business and building owners will participate in to keep their employees, their customers, and their property fire safe by adhering to the requirements of the California Building and Fire Codes. The Fire Department will be in charge of the inspections. One year will be a self-inspection and then the next will be an inspection by Fire Department personnel. The fee will be $120. The Fire Department will continue to do inspections at such places as schools, large care facilities, hazardous occupancies and assembly occupancies such as restaurants, movie theaters and auditoriums.
- Adopted the updated Fresno County Multi-Jurisdictional Local Hazard Mitigation Plan.
- Approved Jim McGuire’s appointment to the Kingsburg Public Safety Committee.
- Awarded a street rehabilitation project for 16th Avenue and Washington Street to Don Berry Construction in the amount of $277,513. Improvements will be made to 16th Avenue from Sierra Street to Winter Street and Washington Street from Draper Street to 18th Avenue including pavement grinding, compaction and reconstruction, pavement striping, markers and markings, utility adjustment, and concrete curb and gutter reconstruction.