New irrigation planned in city parksThe irrigation systems in Mitchell city parks are aging and need to be replaced, according to Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department Director Dusty Rodiek.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
The irrigation systems in Mitchell city parks are aging and need to be replaced, according to Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department Director Dusty Rodiek.
The biggest hurdle is doing it with the money the city has budgeted for the effort, Rodiek said.
“I’m a big Dave Ramsey fan,” he said, referring to the financial adviser who stresses the need to avoid debt. “We will spend the money we have.”
On July 5, Rodiek asked the Mitchell City Council not to approve a contract for irrigation in Hitchcock and Pioneer parks, saying the bid had come in higher than he anticipated.
Mebius Nursery had entered the only bids — $63,000 for work at Hitchcock Park and $17,000 for Pioneer Park. Rodiek said the department only had $40,000 budgeted, for the Hitchcock Park job.
Rodiek said he is negotiating with two contractors in an effort to get the Hitchcock Park irrigation system upgraded for the money he has available.
The timeline to complete the work may be lengthened as well, he said.
“We’ll get them done,” Rodiek said. “We’re going to negotiate on time and we will assist them.”
He said the city could supply workers and equipment in an effort to complete the job for ab0out $40,000.
The irrigation systems in the parks are at least 30 years old, Rodiek said, and are aging, hydraulic systems. It is becoming more and more bothersome to repair and maintain them, he said, and finding parts is also increasingly difficult.
“They’re ancient,” Rodiek said.
Parks Supervisor Steve Roth said some of the parts in use in city parks now were “scavenged” from the Lakeview Golf Course when it removed its old irrigation system a few years ago. Roth said when city workers call companies seeking parts, they are often told no parts are available.
“It’s so old, they don’t make them anymore,” he said. “It’s done its job.”
The new system will be electronic. It will send a signal to the headers to spray water, unlike the current system, which uses water pressure to keep the headers closed. When a pipe springs a leak, it’s a major project to dig it up and repair or replace it.
This fall, the irrigation headers in Hitchcock Park will be replaced, but many of the old PVC pipes will likely be left in the ground, Rodiek said.
Roth said they will eventually rot away.
Rodiek said the work won’t cause Hitchcock to be closed, but some areas will be blocked off from public use while the work is ongoing.
Work on upgrading the irrigation systems in other parks will continue as city funds allow, Rodiek said.
“That one is a much smaller project over at Pioneer, so we may be able to do that one in-house,” he said.
There are some other irrigation projects in the future, but Hitchcock is on top of the list now, Rodiek said.
On the city website, 19 areas are defined as city parks, including the city bike trail system and the Lake Mitchell Sportsman’s Club. Most have some form of irrigation.