The City of Sparks rejected a bid of $1.6 million from a company to replace the field turf on fields 7 and 8 at Golden Eagle Regional Park at its city council meeting on Monday.
The city is looking to replace the artificial turf that lines two of the parks 12 fields, yet is still waiting to receive a bid within its budget. The surface, originally manufactured by FieldTurf USA, was installed nearly 10 years ago and has neared the end of its lifecycle.
In 2016, the city worked with Lloyd Civil & Sports Engineering to conduct a study and develop a multi-year plan to replace its synthetic fields, starting with the ones that get the most use. Since fields 7 and 8 get quite a bit of use for soccer and football games, the turf needed to be replaced sooner than later. The city set a budget of around $1.4 million to replace the surface and called for bids to be received by Dec. 20, 2017.
Three bids came back from Hellas Construction, Sprinturf, and FieldTurf USA, yet the two from Sprinturf and FieldTurf USA were deemed non-responsive and the bid Hellas was over budget. Sprinturf and FieldTurf USA were missing information required under NRS 338.141 which states that bidders failing to “self-list” themselves as subcontractors shall be deemed “non-responsive” and cannot be awarded a contract.
“Per Nevada NRS 338.141, bidders are required to follow a process defined in state law when submitting their bids. This includes listing themselves as a contractor. Since they didn’t follow these directions clearly defined in our bid document, their bids have been declared “non-responsive” and cannot be considered in the evaluation of bids,” says City of Sparks Community Relations Manager Julie Duewel.
The only available company to bid on then was Hellas Construction, which sent in a bid of $1.6 million- $200,000 more than the city’s allotted budget to replace the fields. At its Monday city council meeting, council members voted unanimously to not award the contract to Hellas following city staff’s recommendation to reject the bid.
Councilwoman Charlene Bybee asked how long the bidding process can go on before the fields become unusable. Capital Projects Manager Brian Cason responded by saying that the delayed bidding pushes the timeline out a bit and that the fields are only unusable during construction.
Councilmember Kris Dahir asked if delaying the process will change the number of construction costs in the bid, but Cason does not think that if the bidding process is redone in the next couple of months that there will be drastic changes in proposals.
FieldTurf USA has made the news over the last couple of years regarding allegations of manufacturing defective turf and falsely marketing it as having a 10-year lifespan. In 2016, the Borough of Carteret filed a lawsuit against FieldTurf claiming that it officials knew the company’s product would start deteriorating soon after installation yet sold the product anyways.
Sparks purchased its original turf from FieldTurf in 2007 for around $1.4 million. Staff maintains that the life of the turf has served the city well and never sought replacement under FieldTurf’s 8-year warranty despite reports that three fields at Golden Eagle were defective because the artificial fibers wore out and broke off during use.
“The City of Sparks believes the field concerns at Golden Eagle Park were aesthetic and not related to performance. The fields have simply reached their end of life cycle. The fields are almost 10 years old and the typical life cycle is normally 8 to 10 years. We will be phasing turf replacement for the various fields at Golden Eagle Park over the next several years,” Duewel adds.