Council to pick firm for TeWinkle sports complex

COSTA MESA — The City Council on Tuesday is expected to select a firm that would upgrade and operate the TeWinkle Park Athletic Complex in a partnership that could save the city money and bring in more sports leagues.

The park at 960 Arlington Drive features a baseball field, three softball fields and a concessions building.

Looking to save money on maintenance costs, the city is considering partnering with an outside firm that would handle those responsibilities along with further development of the park.

There are plenty of options for the city to consider. At an August Parks and Recreation Commission meeting, several companies offered their visions for the park, including a bigger concession area that offers alcohol, more adult softball leagues, and in one instance, an entrance fee to the park.

Once the council selects a company, it would then pass the concept over to a community task force to determine service, logistical and maintenance issues with the company.

Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer said it was important for the city to pick a firm before handing it over to a task force to work out the wants and needs of the park's new direction.

"You have to have someone across the table to negotiate all those issues," Righeimer said.

Outsourcing work continues

In other action Tuesday, the City Council will continue its proposal to outsource city jobs. The council is expected to approve putting graffiti abatement, street and storm drain maintenance, and animal control services out for public and private bids.

Though a temporary court order prohibits the city from replacing its workers with private-sector employees, the city is still permitted to entertain offers. The court order will likely remain in place until a lawsuit between city employees and the city is resolved.

According to the staff reports, there is money to be saved in reworking the city's graffiti, drain and sewage maintenance, and animal control services. But in all three scenarios, monetary savings could lead to reduced services, such as slower response times, less regular maintenance or less flexibility in job duties.

Twitter: @JosephSerna

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