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Synthetic soccer field called too costly

Plans for a proposed synthetic soccer field in North Tahoe Regional Park were put on hold Monday, sending the project back to the drawing board for a less-expensive design.

The North Tahoe Public Utility District’s board of directors rejected all six bids to install the artificial turf at a special board meeting Monday, and authorized a re-bid process that will close on June 21.

The district staff recommended that directors reject the six bids received in March because all exceeded budget limitations, said district General Manager Steven Rogers.



Vague specifications regarding added features also caused confusion among the original bidders, said Parks and Facilities Manager Kathy Long.

After comparing the bids, district staff realized the lowest bids did not necessarily offer the best deal because certain features, such as the field’s shock pad, were not included in the price.



Now that district staff has a better understanding of what the project entails, Rogers said the best option is simply to restart the bidding process.

“We need to revise the bid specifications so that they better meet the product that we want and, at the same time, to get them within the budget that we have,” Long said.

District officials said they hope to begin construction on the field in August, with a completion date tentatively set for the fall. The estimated $950,000 soccer field has been in the works for more than three years.

The field’s design is complex, with several design variations offering different uses of technology, Long explained. The district wanted to leave the bid process open-ended so that each company could present their ideal plan for North Tahoe’s field.

Artificial-fiber soccer fields are popping up nationwide because they offer the same quality as grass turf, but with improved all-weather and maintenance characteristics.

Currently, North Tahoe Regional Park has three fields, two of which are softball diamonds, and the third is in desperate need of renovation, Long said. The boundaries of the existing soccer field are drawn over the softball outfields and a portion of dirt diamond.

The new field, which will be constructed above and east of the regional park playground, will be chalked for one full-sized and two small-sized soccer fields, but it could be used by Pop Warner football or lacrosse, Long said.

Generally, the field’s foundation consists of a graduated road base of gravel, an ideal material for drainage. The synthetic turf material is a type of plastic, either nylon or polyethylene, and is topped off by a “crumb rubber substance” meant to keep the turf’s grass-like blades upright.


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