ELKO — Bid specification packets for a pared-down Elko Sports Complex that now will be built in two phases should be ready to go out in about a week, according to Elko’s assistant city manager.

Scott Wilkinson said the city will seek a base bid and a bid for additions that may be awarded depending on whether bids “are decent” to fit within Elko’s budget for the complex. Earlier bids for a fancier sports complex came in too high.

“We swung and missed on that one, so we had to scale back,” Wilkinson said.

Elko City Council on Tuesday agreed to seek bids for the skinnier plans and to divide the project into two phases for 2018 and 2019.

Elko budgeted a little less than $8.79 million for the sports complex, but the low bid from Granite Construction came in at a little more than $12 million. The council rejected that bid at its Feb. 13 meeting and asked staff to return with a less costly version.

The earlier proposal called for a paved parking area, a plaza with planters for flowers, irrigation for the plants and nicer fencing, as well as a comfort station.

Phase one of the new plan will be for site grading at the 80-acre site south of the Humboldt River, installation of electrical utilities, a sound wall, a pump station and irrigation mainlines, a water source for wetlands, and storm drainage infrastructure. The alternatives to be bid for the first phase are field construction and field lighting.

The second phase will include the comfort station, outfield fencing and scoreboards, sports equipment and parking lot construction. The lot would be gravel, not paved.

“Our intent is to complete the fields,” Wilkinson said Wednesday. “We think we can afford all of it.”

At the Feb. 27 council meeting, he said by rolling part of the project into the next year, there will be additional funding available, such as about $500,000 from the recreation fund and another half million dollars from sales taxes.

Danny Story, who is on the Elko Parks and Recreation Committee and involved with baseball in Elko, emailed comments that the lack of a new complex is holding Elko back from hosting large, regional baseball tournaments that would boost the economy.

“It’s important to get this project off the ground now. Make it happen,” he wrote.

Story expressed concern about needing artificial turf and was worried there wouldn’t be a comfort station since plans were being cut back. However, the phase two plans call for a comfort station, Wilkinson pointed out.

Wilkinson also told the council the city can always go back in and add features to the sports complex when more funding is available.

Elko City Manager Curtis Calder said earlier this month that if the city pursued a two-phase project, the initial bid could be awarded this spring, and a second bid package could be solicited this fall for 2019 work.

Cedar Street Project

Elko City Council this week awarded a contract to Great Basin Engineer Contractors for a little more than $1.66 million for the second phase of the Cedar Street reconstruction project.

Director of Public Works Dennis Strickland said the city “had a great experience with them in the first phase” of the project, which went from Sixth to Second streets. The second phase is from Second Street to D Street. The third phase will be Sixth to Ninth streets.

“I’m excited to knock out the next big chunk of Cedar Street,” he said.

The project is improving flood control and storm drainage, as well as rebuilding the street.