The recently announced sound garden is not the only new addition coming to McDonald Park.

The Early City Council unanimously approved a $70,000 bid from Dribble Concrete and Land Construction to lay the cement of a basketball court at McDonald Park, which will be adjacent to its volleyball court.

The vote comes after the Early Municipal Development District approved increasing the original bid by $30,000, bringing the total bid to $70,000 last Monday.

“The bids were presented to them and this was a decision they made,” Early Assistant Administrator Larry McConn said. “… I talked to six different concrete contractors to get them to bid on this. I felt confident I was going to get at least four bids back after talking to them. When it came down to opening bids, I had one bid returned to me from Dribble Concrete and Land Construction. The cost of building is going up. We’re at about $6 per square foot for pretty easy concrete work, which puts it at $56,800 for just the concrete work.”

Early City Administrator Tony Aaron said he does not believe the contractor awarded the bid planned to overcharge the city, instead, increased demand drove up the price.

“We could reject this and go back out for bids, but I don’t think we’re going to have any luck getting anyone else to bid on it. It would be my recommendation we accept the bid,” Aaron said.

Aaron said some of the costs could stem from engineering specs, which required the basketball court be laid on a 5-inch concrete slab and other issues raised that could have kept the cost low. Although significantly higher than expected, recently appointed city councilman Leeland Acker said the bid could have been worse.

“It came out to $7.81 per square foot on the foundation of our church,” Acker said. “This is not trying to support a metal building by any means of the imagination, but $6 a square foot is significantly less than what our foundation went for. As far as the 5-inch (slab), I would rather invest in it now than be back here in 10 years trying to figure out how to fix the cracks and the weeds growing in the middle of the court.”

Councilmen also:

Approved changing the name of Trailer Drive to Oak Street

Approved hotel occupancy grant fund applications for Aldersgate Enrichment Center Clays and Praise Classic and the upcoming Bass Clubs of Texas Top 6 Tournament.

Held a workshop regarding the 2019 budget.