To the Editor: Input on parks and rec project

There was a front-page article in the Feb. 8 edition of the Daily Independent entitled “Quality of life costs.” The subject matter and underlying title were on the city committee talks about the Parks and Recreation project priorities. The city council stated they would welcome inputs from Ridgecrest residents … well here is mine!

Are they out of their ever-loving minds? Where does the city come up with these ridiculous estimates for the projects that they have listed in the newspaper? I really suspect that these estimates are done by the same contractors that bid on and get the work done for the federal government … the ones that are paid $2,000 for a $150 toilet! We have all known for years how our tax dollars are wasted through government spending!

I will take this one step at a time. First, the article stated that suggested improvements to the Senior Center would be about $305,000, which included $75,000 to remodel the bathrooms. What? Does anyone on the city council watch the HGTV channel? To completely remodel the bathroom in a home with expensive jetted tub, adding windows, refiguring the room which entails moving the plumbing, new large vanity with double sinks, beautifully tiled large shower, flooring, etc., it is only $10,000 for one bathroom, so two should not be over $20,000, wouldn’t you think?

Then the estimate on remodeling the kitchen at the Senior Center was $150,000. I understand that this is a commercial kitchen but again remodeling a large kitchen in a home with the best cabinets, large island, best granite countertops, all new top-of-the-line appliances, expensive flooring, lighting and even refiguring the design, and the costs for all this is around $40,000 or less, so I could be generous and see maybe $75,000 but why the $150,000?

Also, the estimate for heater/air conditioner maintenance and unit replacement at $50,000 seems high. We have a new heater/air conditioner (dual/pack) unit for a 1,600-square-foot home, and it was only $6,000. If they replaced the existing ones with three new ones (which would be more than sufficient) it would cost only about $20,000. Then there was the roof repair. That was the only one that seemed more in-line with the estimate of $30,000 (our 1,600-square-foot home was $8,000). Well let’s see...we have now saved about $105,000.

Now for the parks. We have five wonderful parks … Upjohn, Pearson, Petroglyph, Freedom and LeRoy Jackson. All new playground equipment was just recently installed at the Upjohn and Pearson Parks. It is wonderful to see so much more family activity at these parks. It does bring up the question of why the city would be requesting another $250,000 for playground equipment for each of these two parks. Also, why $6,000 for stainless steel fixtures in the bathroom and $2, 300 for roofing the maybe 200- square-foot bathroom?

The article stated the estimate for the Pearson Park was $583,000! Oh my goodness! First of all, they too already have the new playground equipment so we can deduct $250,000. (The costs of priorities is getting to look a little better already, don’t you think?) Now, why would anyone pay $5,400 to replace a drinking fountain and why would it cost $200,000 to put a couple of bathrooms at Pearson Park and another $200,000 to add one also at Freedom Park? You can build a beautiful three-bedroom, two-bath home for $200,000!

As far as the Kerr McGee Youth Sports Complexes and the LeRoy Jackson Sports Complex, I am not at all familiar with the costs needed, but I will say that the county did a fantastic job of building Petroglyph Park, and it cost only about $1,000,000.

With all the beautiful sidewalks, lighting, huge bathrooms, lovely playground area and wonderful covered eating area and many trees and plants, I just can’t imagine why it would cost almost $3,000,000 to do the Kerr McGee Complex and why $1,500,000 for retrofitting the lights. Then they estimate another $4,000,000 for the LeRoy Jackson Sports Complex.

The article also indicated that Freedom Park and Pearson Park both have wells that need to be maintained at the cost of $70,000.00 each. Why would we have parks that are on wells in the middle of the city?

The figures which I find to be estimated fairly, would be for the ground maintenance … annually aerating the grass, tree replacement, turf upkeep, etc. The parks definitely need more manpower to also take care of weed control, proper monitored watering and overall park maintenance.

Come on folks … this is your money they are talking about spending! Wouldn’t you question the overblown estimates for the city’s list of Parks and Recreation priorities?

Well, for what it is worth … there is my input.

Suzanne Seibel

Story First Published: 2018-04-27