Palmetto mayor will negotiate bid for MLK park

jtate@bradenton.comDecember 3, 2013 

PALMETTO -- Palmetto Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant will enter into negotiations with a contractor to build Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park on property behind the Palmetto Youth Center.

The lone bid on the project came in 36 percent over the city's projected cost.

The Palmetto City Commission voted unanimously Monday evening for Bryant to negotiate with bidder Stellar Development of Lakewood Ranch.

Commissioners said they were concerned by the discrepancies from the contractor's $1.5 million bid and the city engineer's projected $1.1 million cost to complete the project.

"That gives me concern that we only have a single bidder and we have nothing to compare it to, so I'm glad the mayor is going to negotiate. I'm all for that project," Commission Tambra Varnadore said.

"That will be a part of the discussion when I meet with Stellar," Bryant said about the price differences.

The park already has its building permits. In October, the city sent out a request for proposals. It's estimated the park could break ground as early as January.

The mayor said the city will look for options to bring the project down to budget.

Palmetto officials have ap

plied for a $500,000 grant from the Southwest Florida Water Management District to build the park with the city and CRA to provide matching funds.

Plans call for the park to have trails, water features and a fountain, connecting with a linear trail meandering through the city.

In other business, Palmetto resident Dominique Leclezio voiced his concerns with a troublesome two-way stop near his home. He, his wife, Gretchen Leclezion, and two sons live in a home on the corner of Seventh Street and 11th Avenue West. They said they have witnessed many car wrecks at the intersection.

"Last week there was an accident," said Leclezio, who assisted a grandparent and their younger grandchildren who were involved in the car accident.

He suggested the city act quickly before any fatalities occur on the corner where they say visibility is bad for cars stopped at one of the two-way stops.

"Do something right now," he said. "I hope you do something before anything more serious happens on that corner."

The Leclezio family and about nine other residents attended the meeting in an attempt to make sure city officials did something about the problem. She also started a petition among neighbors.

"About 20 people have signed," she said.

Bryant requested an emergency hearing of a resolution to turn the intersection into a four-way stop. Commission unanimously approved the motion.

The item will be heard at the next available commission meeting, either Dec. 18 or Jan. 6, said Bryant.

The Public Works Department and the Palmetto Police Department will provide information about the intersection for the commission.

Janey Tate, city of Bradenton and Palmetto reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. You can follow her on Twitter at Janey_Tate.

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