"The analysis is proving more difficult than originally expected," Mr. Pegueros said in a June 15 report to the council. "One option on the table is to reject all bids and issue a new call for bids later in the year when business is slower for landscape contractors."
The planned upgrades to the field at 3399 Alpine Road include re-grading and installing new irrigation, dugouts, a backstop, bleachers and a batting cage. The work should have started in June, staff has said, to be ready for the spring 2013 Little League season.
The council settled on $588,000 for the job, so the low bid of $587,500 would seem in the ballpark. But while these numbers seem close, the bid represents construction costs only, Mr. Pegueros said.
The council's number includes "soft" costs such as design work and contingency funds. Looking at construction only, the council is prepared to spend $481,443, Public Works Director Howard Young said in a report.
Also bidding were: Andreini Brothers Inc. of Half Moon Bay, $879,727; Robert A. Bothman Inc. of San Jose, $663,839; and Jensen Corporation of Cupertino, $619,000.
The council has the option, through the Parks & Recreation Committee, of raising the bar in the fundraising campaign.
The Alpine-West Menlo Little League, the only organized user of Ford Field, donated $50,000 and has pledged another $50,000.
Menlo Park's Sand Hill Foundation, on behalf of the family of Susan Ford, has offered a matching grant of up to $100,000.
The state is expected to contribute about $232,000 in grants, and the town has already spent about $48,000 on soft costs. Other possible sources include public generosity and a 2007 gift of 100,000 shares of Camac Energy. Selling the stock now could net about $75,000, Councilman Ted Driscoll said, far less than the $2.6 million it was worth around the time it was given and had restrictions on its sale.
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