Counting error for proposed irrigation system at Westview drops price by nearly $1 million

Les Hill presentation

Irrigation consultant Les Hill gave a presentation on June 14 to members of the Quincy Park Board on the projected cost of installing an irrigation system at Westview Golf Course. | David Adam

QUINCY — A miscalculation on the number of sprinkler heads needed for the irrigation of all 27 holes at Westview Golf Course has dropped the projected cost of the project by nearly $1 million.

Les Hill of Navasota, Texas, recently completed design work for the proposed system. During a June 14 presentation to the Quincy Park Board, Hill said 1,166 sprinkler heads were needed at a cost of $2,300 per head (total cost: $2.68 million). Hill recommended a pump station upgrade at $45,000 rather than a new pump station, which would cost approximately $200,000. He also added what he called a $75,000 “contingency.” The total project cost was $2.8 million.

However, as Hill made his presentation, Rome Frericks, executive director of the Quincy Park District, thought something wasn’t quite right.

“(Hill) met with David (Morgan, director of golf) and I before the board meeting in June,” Frericks said. “I had spent enough time with this, and I knew that 1,100 (sprinkler heads) was way too many based on our conversations over the last five months. I just knew two and two didn’t add up to four.

“So, he made some notes to go over all the numbers again when he got back to Texas, and that’s when he realized that he double counted the sprinkler heads in the fairways on the first 18 holes.”

Hill counted 421 sprinkler heads twice. Now the proposed irrigation system for Quincy calls for 745 sprinkler heads at $2,300 per head (total cost: $1.71 million). The total project now is estimated to cost $1.83 million — a 34.9 percent decrease.

“Les called me when he got back (to Texas) on June 18,” Frericks said. “He was very embarrassed about it. I told him, ‘Everyone makes mistakes.’ This is a good problem to have.”

Hill first estimated each sprinkler heads would cost $1,800 each, but he told the Park Board costs have risen more than 30 percent in the past 12 months. He expects them to rise between 6 and 10 percent more in the next 12 months.

He said the “state-of-the-art system” will have irrigation heads functioning at double the efficiency of the current heads at Westview. An operator can control each single sprinkler head and manage it one minute at a time. HDPE pipe, which is more durable and heat resistant than PVC pipe, would be installed. Only the greens, tee boxes and fairways would be watered.

Frericks said a vote on the Westview irrigation project is not expected to be on the agenda for the July meeting. Instead, he believes the seven commissioners will discuss the project during their one-day planning session for 2024 on Aug. 10.

“The board gives us a consensus at the August planning session, and then we can start to work up some numbers,” Frericks said. “They may use a (general obligation) bond and pay it off over one, two or three years, or they may tell us we’re not ready to do this yet. It’s just a way that the staff knows what to plan on for capital projects for 2024.”

Frericks said some money for the project has been set aside.

“With our PPRT (personal property replacement tax) money coming in so strong, we put some of it into a capital development fund,” he said. “Right now, we’re looking pretty good. We’ve still got to come up with a little over $1.2 million. This is going to be one of the big things that our staff and the board are going to talk about to try to get this project done sooner than later, because we know that (the cost of the irrigation project is) going to go up a minimum of 10 percent every year. The longer you kick the can down the road, the more it is (going to cost).”

Frericks also said money is set aside for another all-inclusive shelter/playground in the city, this one for Wavering Park. However, the Park District also is trying to get grant money for that playground, and the money set aside for the all-inclusive playground could be moved to other projects.

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