VINTON — After years of hurdles, the Vinton Parks and Recreation Department (VPRD) is now able to move ahead with the construction of a splash pad at Kiwanis Park.

During last week’s council meeting, Matt Boggess, VPRD director, shared an update that the city had received one bid from the bid letting in December. Boggess asked the council to accept a bid of $222,000 from Boomerang Corp, Amanosa. “I don’t have the resolution prepared for you to approve this evening,” Boggess stated “but I will have that before you at the next meeting.”

Boggess reminded the council that the first time bids were let for the project, the city received a bid of $380,000 for the project. Because the difference between the engineer’s estimated cost and the bid received the decision was made to reject bids at that time.

With monies raised during a community campaign for the splash pad at Kiwanis, the VPRD sent out requests for bids two more times. The most recent in prior to the last bid request members of the VPRD board met with council members asking if it would be possible for the department to receive an additional $100,000 prior to the next fiscal year start, to help cover the cost of the splash pad if a bid was accepted before the next fiscal year started.

After continued discussions, council members agreed to provide an additional $50,000 if VPRD covered the remaining balance from within it’s own budget.

At Thursday night’s meeting, Boggess told the council “I’ve worked with Chris (Ward, Vinton city administrator) and we’ve been able to shave off some things from our budget proposal for the coming year.” VPRD is working at saving $25,000 in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2020, while getting the remainder of the balance from the next year’s budget.

During previous bid requests, council members had voiced concerns about the low number of bids being received for the project.

Boggess shared that when the request for bids was posted, he had placed calls to different firms.

“I made some calls and asked if firms would be interested in bidding for the project,” he explained.

The low number of bidders is not unusual for this project.

“I’ve also spoken to other communities who have had similar returns,” Boggess said. Both Fairfax and Ackley are attempting to get bids for similar projects in the respective communities.

In other business:

- Scott Meyer was appointed as the City of Vinton street superintendent.

Meyer is stepping into the role that was vacated by Rick Erickson who retired at the end of 2019. Meyer has been employed by the City since 1997.

“I’m sure you are going to be a good fit,” Bud Maynard, Vinton mayor, said following the appointment.

Prior to the appointment, Ward explained that the City has posted the position announcement and description at the various city departments per the union contract.

“The only person to sign for the position was Mr. Meyer,” Ward’s memo to the council stated.

With Meyer’s appointment, the city will be advertising for a lead person position to fill Meyer’s old role.