DECATUR, IL – On February 25, Park Board candidate John Davis issued a release to the media questioning the practices of the Decatur Park Board of Commissioners in awarding a contract for the construction of a new miniature golf course in Nelson Park.
The competitive bidding statute for park districts specifically excepts contracts which, by their nature, are not adapted to award by competitive bidding because the professional skill and ability of the contractor is important to the success of the project. The Decatur Park District wanted the miniature golf course to be extraordinary, a recreational highlight for the community and the development of Lakeshore Landing. The creativity of the design for the miniature golf course was to be a significant factor in the selection.
To make the best selection possible, an initial screening of national firms was made, and three firms were selected for the initial interview phase based upon their proximity to the site and experience with public agencies. Three companies – Harris Mini Golf, Cost of Wisconsin and Weber Group – were asked to submit their qualifications. Cost of Wisconsin and Weber Group advanced to the second stage of the process and were asked to provide a design and complete bid proposal.
Upon review of the two bids provided, it was determined that Weber Group offered the best value to the Park District based upon a combination of price, scope of work, and quality of the design concept.