The town’s quest to determine whether it can afford a new competitive-grade, six-lane pool did not move forward at last week’s Community Services District (CSD) board meeting, nor did it end.
Ron Bravo of Terracon Aquatic Design presented to the board his firm’s completion of the first of three phases of a $42,500 design contract the town signed in July. In the end, the board asked for another presentation at its next meeting with more detail.
Bravo presented a detailed estimate of what it would cost to build a pool, while clarifying that Terracon’s estimate was not a bid.
“I want to be clear: It’s an opinion of probable costs,” Bravo told the board. “It’s not a bid ... we’re not contractors, we don’t build the pools, we’re not offering to build a pool for this price.” Bravo further explained that Terracon put together these construction documents so other contractors in the market can submit competitive bids for the project.
As he went over the estimated costs with the board, Bravo cautioned members not to seek better deals on the products listed therein, as the costs include installation and some contractor markup.
During the presentation, some board members had questions about items missing from the bid, such as parking lot improvements, equipment housing, bathrooms and a fence.
“Those are substantial costs that weren’t included in the estimate that we know that we are going to have to have,” CSD Director Kevin Graves said. “What I understood the board was looking for was a project estimate, not a pool estimate.”
Bravo assured the board that more line items could be added to the estimate and presented at the board’s next regular meeting on Sept. 18. He further noted the design of the new pool would fit inside the existing fence line.
After the presentation, longtime Discovery Bay resident Bill Helfrick spoke during the public comment period, cautioning against making any decisions without a firm idea of the cost involved.
“Again, your Terracon (estimate), like your first study, isn’t getting you the full project costs,” Helfrick said. “You’re back to an estimate.”
Alison Watts, who has been an advocate for a new pool since the idea was introduced last year, also spoke, saying the project didn’t have to include pricey extras.
“I understand that there are concerns for the (handicap access) . . . but there are pools all over like these and they don’t have fancy bathrooms . . . so hopefully there isn’t too much hesitation on that,” Watts said.
In July, the CSD Board authorized staff to engage Terracon’s design services in three phases: design development with a project cost estimate, construction documents and agency review and bidding. The town can terminate the contract at any point during the process.
Discovery Bay is able to explore the possibility of building a new pool, thanks to a settlement it reached with the Hofmann Land Development Company last year, which resulted in the town being awarded $1.4 million.
Once completed, the design bid will give an engineered design and firm cost. If the design’s bid comes in at the expected $1.4 million, and the board votes to approve the expenditure, the town plans to pay $820,400 with monies earned from the Hofmann settlement, and $570,740 with a 10-year loan from the town’s wastewater funds.
Earlier this year, the Discovery Bay paid Terracon $32,650 to conduct a geotechnical study to see whether a new pool could be built in place of the existing one. With favorable results obtained from the study, the board chose to move forward in the process of building a new pool, though the project’s future remains uncertain.
For more information on Terracon’s presentation to the board or the next board meeting, visit www.todb.ca.gov.