Park Repairs Following Flood Damage
Updated March 8, 2019: AstroTurf has been awarded the contract for clean-up of the John B. Lewis Soccer Complex. They have signed and returned the City's contract, which is now being routed through City departments for signature. When fully executed, the contract and the Notice to Proceed will be issued to AstroTurf, who will then begin preparations to mobilize their staff for the project.
During the rainiest year on record in Asheville, multiple 2018 flooding events have caused damage to Asheville parks adjacent to the French Broad and Swannanoa Rivers. Azalea Park, including the John B. Lewis Soccer Complex, was especially hard hit with a partial loss of the playground and rendering the soccer fields unusable until they could be cleaned and repaired. An inventory of park damage includes:
Turf clean-up and repair at the JBL Soccer Complex
Replacement/repair of park furnishings
Asheville Municipal Golf Course
Restroom building repair
Assessment of stormwater system
Utilities infrastructure sub-surface damage
French Broad River Park
Infrastructure repair and riverbank restoration
At its July 24, 2018 meeting, Asheville City Council authorized a resolution for the City Manager to enter into contracts not to exceed $1.2 million to make repairs to City recreational facilities damaged by the flood. The specific facilities are Azalea Park/John B. Lewis Soccer Complex, Carrier Park, Asheville Municipal Golf Course and French Broad River Park.
The City of Asheville was a joint applicant with other WNC municipalities for FEMA disaster relief assistance, which was approved at the State level. To qualify for reimbursements from FEMA, the City was required to follow strict Federal guidelines in getting estimated costs, bidding, and contracting. The request for FEMA assistance was denied at the Federal level and North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued a statement that the State would appeal the denial. The City continued to work under FEMA guidelines in hopes that the appeal by the State would lead to reimbursement. The State's appeal was eventually also denied.
May 30, 2018: First flooding event occurs damaging multiple Parks & Recreation facilities.
June, 2018: Parks & Recreation staff perform damage assessments. Azalea Park has the most damage with loss of a significant portion of the playground and extensive damage in the JBL Soccer Complex. Staff begin discussions with contractors for repair cost estimates. Informal estimate of $875,000 received for repairs at JBL. Azalea Park is closed until repairs can be made. FEMA tours and evaluates impacted areas. FEMA funding assistance applied for and approved at the State level.
July 16: Assessment and proposal received from contractor with full scope of work as required by FEMA guidelines for John B. Lewis Soccer Complex.
July 24: City Council authorizes total funding of $1.2 million for flood-related park repairs, including $875,000 for JBL Soccer Complex.
August 21: FEMA application is denied at Federal level. State declares to appeal.
August 31: Official bid package, meeting FEMA requirements, is posted for repair of JBL Soccer Fields.
September 12: Deadline for bids related to JBL repairs. One bid is received, totaling $1.2 million. Staff begins investigating additional funding options and processing bid and contracting per FEMA requirements.
September 17: A second flooding event occurs primarily due to heavy rains and saturated ground. JBL Soccer Complex is re-evaluated by contractor for additional damage and potential higher cost of repair. Other parks are closed temporarily then reopened after repairs and remediation are completed.
October 11: A third flooding event occurs along the Swannanoa and French Broad River corridors. JBL Soccer Complex is assessed by contractor once again to determine any additional damage and any additional expense. Other parks are closed temporarily, then reopened after repairs.
November 13: The State’s FEMA appeal is denied.
December 28: A fourth flooding event occurs along the Swannanoa and French Broad River corridors. Carrier, Amboy Riverfront, Riverbend and French Broad River Parks are re-opened once floodwaters have receded and clean-up is complete. The contractor for JBL repairs is notified and an assessment team is scheduled. An updated evaluation is expected mid-January.
January, 2019: A new assessment of the damage to the Complex’s artificial turf is completed. Negotiations between the City and AstroTurf regarding cost estimate begin again.
Sandra Travis, Program & Operations Manager