Friday, February 22, 2013

Ombudsman considered for McEuen construction

Construction on McEuen Park picks up again next month. 
To help facilitate the flow of information between the general contractor and the community, the City is considering hiring a construction ombudsman.

This last phase of the project addresses all of the design elements planned for the park as well as improvements to Front Avenue. Bids for the general contractor will be opened March 5, with City Council approving the contractor at a special meeting March 7.

The construction project will be sizable and things like project status, road closures, upcoming work, how to access businesses, temporary water outages and many other seen and unforeseen issues will need to be managed and communicated properly to those affected.

“This position requires a construction or engineering background,” City Administrator Wendy Gabriel said. “We need someone with boots on the ground who can work directly with the contractor to find solutions to problems that may affect area businesses. The person in this position can cut through the technicalities of the project and communicate accurate and detailed information back to the community.”

City public information officers and communications professionals would continue in their existing roles and work with the ombudsman to ensure information is disseminated across existing communication channels.

The ombudsman position is similar to those created for the Midtown project and the Education Corridor. The scope of the McEuen project, which is expected to be completed in November, warrants the same attention, Gabriel said.
The cost for the contracted position has been proposed to be split with the Lake City Development Corporation.