Parks panel OKs proposal for geotechnical services
The Eureka Springs Parks and Recreation Commission is taking the first step toward repairing the foundation at Basin Spring Park.
On Tuesday, April 20, the commission heard from interim director Scott Miskiel about a proposal for geotechnical services in the park. Miskiel said the wall underneath the fountain is sinking and while the commission has received a grant to complete the stone work, there's an underlying problem causing the deterioration.
"There's some collapse of the tunnels underneath there, so we need to do some engineering to do a proper foundation for the stone work and one of the things the engineer needs before he can do his job … would be to do some core samples," Miskiel said.
Miskiel said he has received a proposal from a geotechnical company to take the samples. The company would drill down, Miskiel said, to determine what kind of soil or rock is beneath the surface. That will provide clarity on "how to deal with a foundation that will be permanent," Miskiel said.
"It's something I believe we really need to do. We can't do the repairs until we get this done and know what we're dealing with underneath the ground," Miskiel said.
The contract quotes the work at $2,450, Miskiel said, but it could cost more than $3,000 because of "a couple of other items that are by the day or by the hour."
"Those are the items they don't know the exact amount until they get there, but they have quoted what the price will be," Miskiel said. "This is something that will help us get on track to getting Basin Park back to where it needs to be."
The commission has plans to plant trees and repair flower beds, Miskiel said, but that can't happen until the foundation work is complete.
"A lot of those areas that we would be doing that work would be torn up if we did those repairs and then subsequently came back and tried to do the foundation work," Miskiel said.
The commission voted unanimously to approve the proposal.
Earlier in the meeting, the commission heard from several citizens asking for the wall at Cave Spring to be repaired. Chairman Kevin Ruehle said he was the one who asked Miskiel to avoid spending money on the project because of other projects that need more immediate attention. Ruehle said pedestrian access to the Lake Leatherwood Dam has been closed and it could cost $500,000 to repair the dam.
"There is not intentional neglect of anything, but we have limitations of what we're able to do," Ruehle said. "I hope everyone will bear with us as we work through these issues and identify them."
Ruehle said Miskiel has been searching for grants to help pay for much-needed repairs throughout the parks system.
"If it has to be done just out of the revenue we get, it's going to be years before it's addressed and that would be unfortunate," Ruehle said. "It's not that we're not doing anything. We are, and we're well aware of it."
Ruehle said the wall at Cave Spring cannot be repaired.
"It was not constructed in a manner in which any of the historic stone walls are," Ruehle said. "If it's built back the way it is, it will fail again. The only way to deal with that is tear the entire thing down and build a proper stone wall, which is a significant investment."
In other business, the commission approved the new parks fee schedule and the first-quarter financials for 2021. The commission also agreed to have a special meeting in the near future to address removing trees throughout the parks system.
The commission's next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 18, at The Auditorium.