New playground for Glendale neighbourhood

The old playground equipment at the Glendale Park, Allen and Christie Streets in Tillsonburg, has been scheduled to be removed and will be replaced by next spring. The swings, which are newer, will remain. (Chris Abbott/Norfolk and Tillsonburg News) jpg, TN

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Plans for a new Glendale playground at Allen and Christie streets in Tillsonburg are proceeding and its replacement should be in place by the spring.

Tillsonburg town council approved the RFP (request for proposal) bid from PlayPower LT Canada of Paris to complete a playground for just over $65,000 (not including taxes).

“The RFP process is different than a tender process where when you put out a bid you know exactly what you’re looking for,” explained Chris Baird, Director of Recreation, Culture and Parks, at the Nov. 9 Tillsonburg virtual council meeting.

“When it comes to an RFP, we’re looking for more than just price. We’re looking for value for money, for warranty, for performance of the team to deliver on a product.”

Six bids were presented ranging from the low bid of $65,000 to $134,000. Four were within the allocated budget.

Baird noted there was a three-member evaluation team that individually reviewed five different factors – corporate qualifications and experience, the project team, creativity and compliance, schedule and work plan, and price.

PlayPower’s bid was approximately $10,000 below the approved playground budget.

Scoring was close among the top four or five bids, said Baird, noting the evaluation system council adopted “makes it very easy to be fair and consistent.”

“For something like this, there are six really well qualified playground manufacturers. They are used to bidding hundreds of RFPs every year. They know each others products, the location, the time of year and their product availability is going to make their bids more competitive.”

“Assuming this goes forward, when will we be looking at installation of this playground?” asked Coun. Penny Esseltine.

“In the next week or so, the existing, old play structure, not including the swings that were put there just a few years ago, will be removed by town staff,” said Baird, “so that we’re providing a vacant site for the new supplier.”

Baird anticipated the foundation work could be completed before it snows, depending on weather, and assembly could be done during the winter.

“Our goal is to have it ready for kids’ enjoyment early in the springtime.

“We are confident that not only will the recommended company meet all of our stated requirements, but they will do it within the existing approved budget. I think that reflects well on the process.”

“If we’re pulling out the equipment that is currently there, can we please ensure there is communication through town channels through social media and maybe the report in the paper so that people aren’t surprised that we’re pulling the equipment out?” asked Coun. Chris Parker.

cabbott@postmedia.com

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