Moorestown park bids come in cheaper than expected

A revamp of the Moorestown’s athletic fields may be cheaper to complete than once thought, as Moorestown Township Manager Scott Carew said the township received several bid packages from construction companies for improvements to three athletic complexes.

The bid packages came in about $670,000 less than when the township went out to bid last year for the previously named K.I.D.S. Initiative, Carew said. The K.I.D.S. Initiative moniker has been dropped from the project, now simply called the fields project. Township voters approved the measure in 2007, which enables the township to use funding from the township’s open space trust fund to improve athletic fields in Moorestown.

The economy and the lack of projects have driven down the cost of the work in the past year, Carew said.

“One, we cut a lot of bells and whistles from the original project, the K.I.D.S. Initiative,” Carew said. “Two, the economy and the lack of these projects have made the contractors much more aggressive in their bid packages.”

There aren’t many projects out there and too many contractors, Carew said. All three projects were bid separately, so the township representatives can either do all at once or pick and choose the projects as they wish.

The project consists of improvements to three athletic fields in Moorestown. Wesley Bishop North has the highest priority among the three fields, Carew previously said, with a second artificial turf field, grating work, and parking lot improvements scheduled for the complex.

Pryor Park takes the second priority among the complexes, with the baseball fields scheduled to receive artificial turf infields and improved drainage.

Wesley Bishop South is the final priority, with the park scheduled to receive turf improvements and a better irrigation system. The complex no longer has an artificial turf field component, Carew said, but could also use some improved fencing.

There are several alternate bid packages that the township should consider as well, Carew reported, such as a stone parking lot at one of the fields that would be about $100,000 cheaper than a concrete lot.

In other field news, Council Member Stacey Jordan said that the township will be creating a specific outline of sponsorship opportunities with the athletic organizations in Moorestown. The clubs have submitted various sponsorship opportunities for their fields to the township, Jordan said, and a complete guide will be created to let prospective advertisers see what is available.

Contracts for varying sponsorship opportunities would be available to advertisers for such options as advertisements on baseball field fences, signs on lights poles, and even field names.

A field name would require a longer contract, Carew said, something in the range of 10 years.

The guide will be created with input from the various township athletic clubs and will be available to businesses in the near future, Jordan said.