By Letter to the Editor on December 23, 2020.
After waiting for over 20 years for a northside park like Henderson Park and Nicholas Sheran Park, work finally began on Legacy Park.
Building a park in our semi-arid conditions requires three key components to be successful. The area must be graded to provide proper drainage, the site must have a properly designed and installed irrigation system and, finally, it is paramount to have well-established grass and plants before it opens to public use. Unfortunately, this is not what happened at Legacy Park.
The first question: was the tendering system flawed? Supposedly the evaluation form exists so the low bid is not necessarily the successful contractor. How were local experienced contractors who have proven track records outscored by a company from out of town? Was inexperience doing large projects what resulted in what appears to be poor workmanship?
The second issue is how did the park end up with a failed irrigation system and a collapsed pumphouse, and who signed off and accept this faulty work?
The third issue is why would you continue to spend millions of dollars on park amenities which could be added at any time in the future? I suggest that any pending tenders be put on hold and funds redirected toward having the three key components that make a park a success completed to the standard that has been set in the other two regional parks.
Any time you go to litigation there is no guarantee you will be successful and the process is usually long, and there is even a chance, if you are successful, you may not get enough funds to resolve all the problems this park has.
I would suggest that after waiting so long for a north regional park, that all parties involved in this project be held accountable for their failed attempt in both the tender award and construction of the three key components. The additional funds that have been and will be spent to repair the irrigation system, reseed poorly germinated grass areas and replace the large number of trees and shrubs that have died due to a lack of water will surely surpass what I understand was one per cent or so difference between the top two bidders. And now this difference in cost looks pretty small in my opinion.
Once again poor decision making puts the Lethbridge taxpayer on the hook for funds required to bring this park up to the standard that his been set in the two other regional parks.
Concerned northside resident