After a Willow Park resident expressed drainage concerns in her neighborhood Tuesday night, the WP city council approve two bids for drainage projects and addressed those concerns.
Eleven-year resident Laura Gloor lives on Parkway Drive and discussed issues with drainage in her neighborhood.
“None of the ditches carry water away anymore. The neighborhood has been there over 30 years and I know since I’ve been there there’s been no corrections, so the water just stands in front of our homes,” Gloor said. “When you got your neighbors across the street and the yard is completely flooded and your kid’s riding a kayak in the yard, in the yard, we know we have a problem.”
The bids approved by the council were for drainage corrections on Ranch House Road, near Willow Crest Drive and Parkway Drive, and culvert replacement on Meadow Place Drive.
“We had two bids, one was for the drainage work on Ranch House, just north of Willow Crest, parallel to Parkway, and it includes a drainage box to collect storm water coming across Ranch House and into the ditches, and a subsurface storm drain to take it down to the creek,” WP Engineer Derek Turner said. “The second bid was for the replacement of the culvert that’s collapsed on Meadow Place Drive. When those culverts were put in, the material that was put in was not great and it wasn’t compacted properly — this has been many years ago. Over time as the runoff came down, that material washed out because it wasn’t compacted or protected properly.”
Turner said the metal pipes underground have also corroded.
“They’re actually deteriorated to the point where there are actually holes in the pipes, so water is draining down through those pipes under where the road would be, so the pipes themselves are in need of replacing,” Turner said. “This project includes putting in concrete box culverts, six-foot square box culverts, putting in good material, re-compacting it, putting concrete pavement over the top to match it up with the end of Meadow Place and some grading.”
The lowest bidder was Pennington Utility Construction for a total of $488,875 for both projects, but Gloor said she was concerned about the company the council selected.
“The one that we picked, I couldn’t find a good review on them,” Gloor said. “Everyone said they had immediate problems, immediate cracking, they refused to return phone calls and just the way they handled their business was not at a caliber that I would want our work done.”
But Turner and WP City Manager Bryan Grimes said they checked references and there were no grounds to disqualify Pennington Utility Construction.
“We did check their references, we checked about 20, and we did not get a bad reference. That doesn’t mean there isn’t anybody out there that had a bad experience with them, but we didn’t find anybody in our review,” Turner said. “They were the low bidder and we didn’t find any exclusionary issues that would lead us to recommend not awarding them that contract, so our recommendation was to award both to Pennington [Utility] Construction and that would be a total of $488,875.”
Turner said if the council were to reject the bid with no grounds to do so, the company could turn around and sue the city.
The projects should allow the yards in Gloor’s neighborhood to drain more effectively.
“It doesn’t increase the amount of water that’s going downstream, it’s just controlled, so it’s not increasing downstream,” WP Place 2 council member Amy Fennell said.
Grimes explained to the council how the projects would be funded.
“We have $300,000 out of the tax note that we passed a couple of months ago for bid project A [Ranch House Road drainage] and bid project B [Meadow Place culvert] will be paid for out of general fund reserves,” Grimes said.
The WP city council had approved a $2,365,000 tax note at a 2.15 percent interest rate at its regular meeting in June to fund street improvements, parks and drainage.