Holtville Mack Park To Get A Facelift

Luke Phillips
Holtville residents will soon be seeing long-needed improvements to Nolan E. McDougal (Mack) Park.
The Holtville City Council approved bids submitted for three improvement projects at the park at their last regular meeting on Monday, March 22.
A contract to replace a crumbling retention wall on the park’s south side was awarded to Valencia Brothers Concrete Construction in the amount of $43,125. Installation of new restrooms for the park, including a concrete pad and ADA compliant sidewalk, will be performed by Tim Gaddis Construction at a cost of $18,625, and electrical improvements, including the installation of a new light pole, will be completed by Supreme Electric for $6,595.
The improvements will be paid for with funds from the 2002 Resource Bond Act Per Capita Program of Proposition 40 funds, the same grant that funded improvements at Holt Park. The funds were frozen due to the states economic hardships, but in November of last year the city received word that the funds were again available for project implementation. Funds from the grant will cover $81,665 out of the $119,935 needed for the projects. The other $38,270 will come from the Redevelopment Agency’s Capitol Improvement Projects fund.
Changes to the planned improvements could still be coming though. Council member Jerry Brittsan indicated that he would like to see a second entrance to the park at the southeast corner installed as part of the retention wall project.

“I’ve tried to navigate that a couple of times since then and I just can’t do it,” Brittsan said. “I think if we have any intentions of putting an area down there where we are going to increase the size of the ball park, there ought to be at least one, or possibly two, steps, not ramps, but steps in there where people can get up and down.”   Holtville City Manager Laura Fischer defended the current plans, saying “we didn’t include it (an entrance) becauseit would be an additional expense to the project and we were trying to save as much as we could and get within budget from this grant. We didn’t do that. It’s still over $38,000 over the grant amount, so there is still a cost out there to us.”
Brittsan responded by saying that the costs would be worth it to avoid accidents at the park.
“I don’t think the expense would be that that you would have if you had somebody with a handicap who tries to step off that berm and breaks a leg, or both legs,” Brittsan said.
Fischer acknowledged that handicap parking is a problem at the park that will have to be addressed.
“We can check on it and see what it would add to the budget cost,” Fischer said. “Our parking lot needs some work done to it. It does need to have striping. There are issues with the parking lot.”
The council directed city staff to look into altering the contract with Valencia Brothers Concrete to see if it would be feasible to add accommodations for the disabled to the scope of the project.
The council will take the matter up again at their next regular meeting scheduled for April 5th