Denver, CO

Denver Parks wants more time to spend $18.5 million

David Heitz

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City and County of Denver

By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) By looking at Monday's Denver City Council agenda, you might think that the city is about to redesign all its parks.

The council will consider approving 17 "on-call" contracts for companies that provide landscape design services. Each contract is for $1 million. The council also will consider extending the contracts, through April 2023, without changing the amount.

"The purpose of these on-call contracts is to establish and maintain a pool of qualified small business enterprise on-call landscape architecture design service contractors," according to a fact sheet the Department of Parks and Recreation provided the City Council. "They will be available to respond to bidding requests for the execution of planning, design and construction's work plan. These contracts are related to design oversight, design and construction service procurement, construction inspection services, and project implementation oversight."

The city postponed many park projects due to COVID-19. So, the parks department has money it didn't spend as planned.

The Parks Department can use the contracts for planning and park-specific master plans, new design or renovation of existing parks, improvements and upgrades to city and mountain parks, and natural areas improvements.

Contracts do not commit money

The contracts don't guarantee the department will spend the money. It just ensures the parks department will have contractors available when needed.

The council doesn't need to approve individual work orders, so extending the contracts will give the parks department more time to evaluate and complete projects.

If the council approves, these companies will win contract extensions:

· DHM Design. This firm designed the 39th Avenue greenway project in Denver.

· DIG Studio. DIG Studio designed City Park Golf Course and the Central Park neighborhood's pocket parks and trails.

· Em Dub. This firm designed the Montbello Central Park playground renovation.

· Flow Design Collaborative Landscape Architecture, LLC. This firm's website says it is "coming soon."

· Kimley Horn. The firm designed the Gateway Park mixed-use business park.

· Valerian. This company designed the landscaping at Colorado Tap House in Arvada and the 48th Avenue greenway project in Denver.

· Studio CPG. Studio CPG designed the Cesar Chavez Park streetscape improvements.

Irrigation contracts under consideration

The council will also consider extending a contract with Valerian for $750,000 for irrigation planning, design, and related construction services by one year. The city is converting irrigation of its parks from potable water to a reclaimed raw water supply.

Hydro Systems KDI and Applied Design Services also are up for one-year extensions to $750,000 on-call irrigation contracts.

Other firms winning potential contract extensions include Kevin Lyles, Stream Design LLC, Livable Cities Studio, Design Workshop Inc., Norris Design, Mundus Bishop, and Matrix.

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I have been in the news business more than 30 years, spending much of my career at some of the best local newspapers in the country. Today, I report on Denver City Hall, homelessness and other topics for NewsBreak, much like I did in my twenties covering Newport Beach, Calif. for the Daily Pilot. I consider myself a lucky guy to still be doing what I love after so many years.

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