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4:42 AM Mon, Oct. 22nd

Council approves Marina Street parking change

PRESCOTT - By early summer, parking should loosen up somewhat for visitors to the Prescott Police Department and the Prescott Public Library.

In a 6-1 vote this week, the Prescott City Council approved a $152,626 contract with Asphalt Paving & Supply for an adjustment on parking-strapped Marina Street, which fronts both the police station and the library.

As part of its approval, the council also asked Engineering Services Director Mark Nietupski to work with the contractor for inclusion of solar-power lighted bollards in front of the police department, which would protect against a vehicle crashing into the building.

The parking adjustment will require the removal of some of the landscaping in front of the police station, allowing for the conversion of the existing parallel parking to vertical parking. The end result should add about 20 on-street parking spaces.

The sole vote against the project came from Councilwoman Mary Ann Suttles, who reiterated her concerns about the city's declining revenues.

"It's going to be a 'no' vote for me, because we are at a time when we are asking citizens to cut back," Suttles said, noting that the city has increased rates recently in a number of areas. "It's time that we start looking at our own house."

Councilman Jim Lamerson, who had voiced similar concerns at the council's April 1 study session, said he changed his mind about the project after hearing that the competitive construction market had resulted in lower-than-expected bids.

"I realize we are in a tough economic time right now," Lamerson said. "But when you buy something for half of what it normally would cost, I think I'm going to support this."

The city received five bids for the relatively small project - a competitive situation that City Manager Steve Norwood said had helped to bring down the cost of the project.

The council originally appeared to support just the base bid for the project, which included standard concrete security bollards, rather than the decorative, lighted bollards that contractors bid as an additive alternative.

Ultimately, however, the council instructed Nietupski to work with the contractor to try to substitute solar-powered lighted bollards, rather than going with electrical version. Because they would require no conduits for electricity, Nietupski said the solar lights should be less expensive than the decorative structures, which ranged in cost from $19,824 to $65,450.

While Fann Contracting submitted the lowest base bid at $114,593, Asphalt Paving & Supply's total bid, including the alternative, was the lowest. Because the council was considering adding a lighted bollard option, Nietupski recommended awarding the $152,626 total-bid contract to Asphalt Paving and Supply, whose base bid was $114,616.

Nietupski said the project should be complete by June, barring inclement weather.

Contact the reporter at cbarks@prescottaz.com