Ottawa council will seek new contractor for Thornton Park rehab

Commissioners terminate agreement with current contractor

The Ottawa City Council terminated its agreement with Hacienda Landscaping for work on Thornton Park, meaning the project will have to be put up for bid again.

The motion was tabled during the council’s last meeting July 6 to allow Hacienda to submit information to the city prior to Tuesday’s meeting. The information the city sought came in, albeit at 7 p.m. Monday, commissioners reported.

A representative from Hacienda said the deadline wasn’t missed and contractors have until July 26-29 to get the job finished.

Mayor Dan Aussem said Hacienda will be paid for completed work and said the city will rebid the project. The project was made possible by the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development Grant, which covers 50% of the $558,239 project and has a deadline of August 2022.

“We’re not trying to cheat anybody out of money,” Aussem said. “Whatever we owe, we will pay, starting with the equivalent.”

Aussem indicated at the July 6 meeting after the project is rebid and awarded to a new contractor, he did not foresee missing the deadline.

A lawyer representing Hacienda at the last City Council meeting said work was delayed because an employee was on leave.

“We’ve had 20 years working with a lot of park districts and we’ve never had a problem with them,” said the person representing Hacienda.

The new improvements include a splash pad, new playground equipment, refurbished tennis courts, two pickleball courts, a basketball court, rehabilitation work on the shelter. There also will be improvements to the plaza, a game table, a bags set and the existing dolphin and turtle structures will be moved to an art walk adjacent to the playground. The project initially was slated to finish in late July.