Setting up some decorative basalt downtown

Crews from Jacobs, the City of Ontario’s public works department, are seen here lowering a large decorative rock into place on Friday morning.


The bulbout structures and surrounding areas located in downtown Ontario are gaining some of the finishing aesthetic touches necessary to complete the desired urban ambiance in the form of rocks — big and small.

Around 11 a.m. Friday morning, crews from Jacobs began to unload heavy chunks of decorative rock and situated them into place “in the bulbouts on S. Oregon and First Ave.” according to Betsy Roberts, Ontario City Engineer in an email received on Sept. 10.

“It is the first step in getting the landscaping done, now that we have the clean rock in there,” wrote Roberts.

The downtown bulbout project comes with a history as three separate increases have come before the Ontario City Council since April 28, all requiring alterations to parts of the city’s budget. The most recent of these increase requests happened at the council’s Sept. 3 work session, in which $8,541 was needed to cover “unexpected overruns.” Some of these overruns included: patching, vertical curb and sidewalk pavement. This additional cost was needed to close out the project. The additional funds needed to cover the close out request came from the city’s crackfill budget, reducing it to $32,000 for the Fiscal Year 2021 budget.

How did we get here?

The low bid for this project came from Warrington Construction in the amount of $716,225, the amount of funds the city had available to put toward this project was only $488,020. The difference being a shortage of $228,205 to secure the low bid. The council decided to move funds from fund savings, chip seal budget, fund exchange, public safety and stormwater contingency in order to reach the low bid that was offered to the city for the project.

The second request came on June 16, when the council was informed that crews had encountered unexpected subsurface conditions that impeded the project and required additional work that would require more budget alterations, this time in the amount of $91,000.

The total price tag of the project, after the additional funds, came to just over $815,000.

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