ARTIST’S SKETCH shows a new shelter house that will replace Shelter 4 near Giertz Lake at Riverbend Recreation Area. (Sketch provided)

By JIM MAURER
STAFF WRITER

Another shelter house will be replaced at Riverbend Recreation Area following the Hancock Park District board’s approval on Tuesday.

Shelter 4, near Giertz Lake, will be replaced.

The park board approved the bid of Schimmoeller Construction Co., Kalida, for $249,977, which includes general construction and electrical work.

The new shelter will be paid for by a donor who has not yet been publicly identified.

The park board also approved alternate bids of an additional $38,987 for installation of “sitting” walls of limestone-matching materials, and a possible additional $3,800 for new electric wire conduit, if necessary.

The company has a completion time of 210 days, the longest of the three bids received.

But HPD Director Gary Pruitt said all three companies had similar completion times when figuring that work will begin later this month with demolition of the existing shelter at the site, and completion next spring.

Schimmoeller will start this fall and finish in March or April.

The company previously completed an expansion of the Discovery Center at Oakwoods Nature Preserve, Pruitt said, and the park district was very satisfied with the project.

The new structure will be about 37 feet by 37 feet, about the same size as the existing Shelter 4, Pruitt said. It will have a metal roof, stone exterior, an 18-inch-thick wall with a cap for sitting, and be open air. It will seat 50 to 60 individuals at seven tables.

Other bidders included:

• Garlock Brothers, Findlay, about $293,982 base bid (general and electrical), with about $33,491 for the sitting walls and $2,003 if new conduit is necessary. The company listed a 120-day completion time.

• Helms and Son Construction, Findlay, about $267,900 base bid; about $25,000 for the sitting walls and $2,050 if new conduit is required. The company had the earliest completion time of 90 days.

Not having sitting walls “maximizes the space for picnic tables and seating capacity, and allows for a true open-air pavilion,” Pruitt said in a report. “It provides the best access and promotes the free flow of movement by pedestrians in and out of the pavilion, which is the way the original shelter was designed.”

Having sitting walls “may offer a more upscale appearance, while providing an opportunity for casual seating around the pavilion.”

Pruitt recommended the project with sitting walls, and new conduit if required. Pruitt will oversee the project.

He said a donor will pay the costs of the base bid and both alternates, but the park district will have to provide any contingency funds. The donor has not been identified, but Pruitt said an announcement will be made soon.

After discussion Tuesday, the park board approved the project as recommended by Pruitt.

In the Big Oaks area at the same park, Shelter 2 was recently completed and a ceremony was held Monday honoring the late Mariann Younger, whose family provided funds for the construction.

The family also provided funds for a gazebo constructed near Brugeman Lodge in the same park.

Separately, the park board approved replacement of the parking lot at Big Oaks Activity Area in the recreation area. The project was estimated at $300,000 last year, Pruitt said, for design, construction and contingency funds.

He said design will be done this winter for bids and construction next year. The existing parking lot will be torn up and removed, new base material installed and new blacktop and striping done.

About $84,000 in state Department of Transportation funds are available for parking lot projects. The park district will cover the remainder.

The board also approved a resolution from the Hancock County Budget Commission accepting the park district’s 0.8-mill levy, with an estimated revenue amount of more than $1.49 million, effective Jan. 1, 2020.

This year, through August, the tax has generated more than $1.48 million. The levy provides a majority of the park district’s annual operating funds.

The board also reviewed the park district’s Blanchard River Greenway Trail Fund, which started the year with a balance of about $402,652 and as of June 30, had a balance of about $451,647.

Some of the funds will be used for extension of a multi-use trail from near Riverside Park behind Riverview Suites to Bright Road (Hancock County 95).

Eventually, the park district wants to extend the trail along Ohio 568 to Riverbend Recreation Area. The trail begins west of Findlay.

Maurer: 419-427-8420
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