Arkansas City commissioners agreed to buy a pavilion to be installed at Wilson Park for the local farmer’s market and other functions.

The commission on Tuesday unanimously approved the purchase of a Poligon multi-rib pavilion that will provide a covered area for market vendors that will be assembled in the new parking lot south of the park’s rotunda.

A bid of $169,470 from Recreation Resource, Inc., of Overland Park was received on Feb. 9. That bid will expire Friday. The city was notified that the cost would increase substantially due to rising steel prices if the proposal was not accepted by Friday.

City Manager Randy Frazer said that the city had explored several cost-cutting options, such as decreasing the size of the structure by 20 feet and adding guttering. But those options actually increased the cost.

“It increased it by $20,000,” he said. “This is as cheap as it is going to get for a while.”

Commissioner Duane Oestmann said the city has been working on improvements to Wilson Park for quite some time. Tennis courts were recently removed to make room for parking and the pavilion, which is part of a Master Plan upgrade of the park.

“I think it is time we take a step forward,” he said.

Public Information Officer Andrew Lawson said the new structure won’t look quite as grand as envisioned in the original plan, but it will be more affordable.

“It’s still the same basic concept,” he said.

The bid from Recreation Resource, Inc., does not include construction costs, Lawson said, so the next step is to advertise for a bid to build it.

“The contractor will be responsible for pouring the footings and also bringing up the structure,” he said.

He hopes the overhang will be place before the farm and art market opens in June.

Funding for the project will include $205,802 in matching funds through a V.J. Wilkens Foundation Challenge Grant, and $300,000 from Creekstone Farms, payable through the Legacy Foundation.

“We’ve talked to Creekstone about putting some branding on it in addition to their donation, so we’re still working that out,” Lawson said.

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