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County commissioner not happy with quality of Hazel Bazemore dog park

Dog Park Hazel
Posted at 6:51 PM, Sep 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 10:37:18-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas  — The new dog park at Hazel Bazemore Park is far from being complete, but Nueces County Pct. 1 Commissioner Robert Hernandez said the quality of the park does not match its price tag.

The project, which was approved in 2020, was approved under then-Pct. 1 commissioner Carolyn Vaughn.

Hernandez inherited the project when he took office in January.

The total price tag for the dog park and other improvements is $418,000: That's $262,075 for the dog park, $97,069 for picnic tables and covers, and $58,733 for new park infrastructure.

The project was awarded to ABM Industries, who subcontracted the work and design concept to Wheaton Engineering for $47,000.

"I just don't think a project that size is not worth that much," he said. "I'm not an estimator."

The dog park at Waters Edge park was only $126,000. That park, however, was funded by private donations.

The Hazel Bazemore project is being paid with county money, and according to Hernandez, the current construction is missing pivotal elements that make the project ADA compliant.

As invoices for the project began rolling in, he said he asked the county engineer to review the area.

"It doesn't meet ADA," said county engineer Juan Pimentel. "You have to have more than two percent cross slope on the surface, so that's a big no-no."

Hernandez also said Wheaton Engineering was working without an ABM inspector onsight.

"This is where it stands now, nobody has come to inspect to see if the work is up to code," Hernandez said.

Wheaton Engineering's Ron Wheaton, however, said the park is ADA compliant at a commissioner's court meeting in April. He said ADA requirements are access to a drinking fountain, waste basket and dog disposal.

"We had an extensive amount of accessibility area that exceeded what that requirement was," he said.

Hernandez said that he will bring the project up at the next county commissioners court to see what should be done with the future of the park.