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Past IN THE KNOW Updates


October 10, 2023-
At last night's regular meeting of the Benson City Council, the grant agreement between Arizona State Parks and the City of Benson in the amount of $750,000 was approved for a total project cost of $1,508,700. 

As detailed in in the grant, “This project enhances outdoor recreational opportunities at Lions Park with the addition of pickleball courts, the replacement of the heavily utilized large ramada with electrical upgrades and the construction of the first phase of a softball/baseball field complex including two lighted fields. The project will supplement the variety and safety of available activities and amenities with the intent of increasing community engagement at the park, promoting healthy lifestyles and exercise, as well as alleviating overcrowding issues at existing softball/baseball fields.” 

Council also authorized Psomas Inc. to begin conducting design services. We’re so excited to put this project in motion!

September 18, 2023- The splash pad ground breaking ceremony was attended by members of City Council and representatives from M Anderson Construction Corp., Novak Environmental and Psomas. Construction is officially underway!
August 10, 2023- Funding for the Land Water Conservation Fund Grant awarded in May 2022 for Lions Park improvements including additional playing fields, a new ramada and pickleball courts is hoped to be released on October 1st. Once funding is released we will be able to begin the project! Due to the terms and conditions of the grant, the City is not able to incur any expenses until we have received a signed agreement and notice to proceed. 

Documents are in the process of being finalized and a bid package is being prepared for the Community Development Block Grant project to include new restrooms and a concession stand to accompany the aforementioned new additions to the park.

July 27, 2022- The Splash Pad is currently in the Request for Information phase of the bidding process. A couple of contractors have expressed interest in undertaking the project. Cost estimates and the concept plan for a restroom with concessions and paved parking area for the softball field complex have been submitted for Community Development Block Grant funding. Playground relocation is in the design phase.

June 13, 2022- The City of Benson has been awarded an Arizona State Parks Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant in the amount of $750,000. The grant is a 50/50 match grant; the total cost of the project is estimated to be $ 1,508,700.00. The project includes the following additions/improvements to Lions Park:

  • Grading, utilities & lighting for 4 pickleball courts and 2 new softball fields
  • Replacement of large group ramada including electrical upgrades
  • Landscape and Irrigation
  • Project funding is expected to be released in January or March of 2023 depending upon the completion of the review of cultural documentation by the State Historic Preservation Office and finalization of federal forms.
  • Splash pad plans are expected any day. Once the plans are back the project can go out for bid.

February 8, 2022- Staff checked on the progress of the Plans, Specs & Engineering and it looks like the City won't have a bid package until mid-April, making the hoped-for date of the end of May not possible.  We will continue to monitor progress and see if there is anything that can be done to speed up the process as we move forward.  More information will be provided here, please check back.  Thank you!

There has been much talk of the Lions Park update with the proposed installation of a Splash Pad, moving the playground equipment (to be located north of the big ramada and the development of the west side of the park to include softball fields and a parking lot, among other things.  To have the project move forward, the first step was to have a Conceptual Plan designed and approved by Council.  This was done after several discussions and after hearing many comments from the public on what they wanted to see at the park.  Once the plan was approved, there are several more steps which must be completed to have the Splash Pad in use and the playground equipment moved. They are:

  • Landscape Architect created Conceptual Plan to take to Council - COMPLETED
  • Landscape Architect examining and evaluating current playground equipment for recommendations of repairs/replacement and the new playground layout plan - CURRENTLY IN PROGRESS
  • Use of one of the City's on-call Engineering Firms to complete Plan, Specs & Engineering (which will create a "bid package") - CURRENTLY IN PROGRESS
  • Advertise the Request for Bids (Advertising for approximately 30 days)
  • Receive the bids, evaluation of bids must be done to determine a recommendation for Council consideration
  • Council award of the construction contract (at a Council meeting)
You can see there are several steps the City must follow, including procurement laws, anytime a project is done.  Once the construction of the Splash Pad starts, estimates are 8-10 weeks for completion.  We are hopeful that the Splash Pad and new location of the playground equipment (the equipment and the layout are currently being completed by the Landscape Architect) will be in use by the summer of 2022; HOWEVER, with the construction industry so busy, there may be delays that the City has no control over.  These can include labor shortages, construction firms having projects ahead of this one, supply issues and other things that can delay the project.  As we move forward, we'll keep you updated on the progress. 

Recently, the Council approved the renovation of the building located on the northeast corner of 6th Street and Patagonia.  This building will house Staff currently located at City Hall.  This was a facility that cost almost $500,000 when it was purchased and the City had the opportunity to purchase the building for $10,000.  Moving it was an expense, but this was a great deal for a 3,600 sq.ft. commercial building.  The construction industry has led to the cost of the renovation tripling, so at this time, the Contractor will complete the renovation for the inside of the building and City Staff will complete as much as they can on the outside of the building, first focusing on being ADA compliant.  The work is expected to take approximately 90 days; however, with the conditions of labor shortages, supply shortages, etc., there could be delays.  Work began on November 22 and we'll keep you updated on the progress as it moves forward. Please check back often for more info.
UPDATE:  Progress continues on the inside of the building.  The contractor hopes to have their part (inside ONLY) completed in March.  After that is done, City crews will line out what projects they can do and will move forward as time and other projects allow.