After being forced to reject bids for the Centennial Park improvement project in July, Riverside trustees decided to put the project out to bid again, voting unanimously to do so at their board meeting Monday night.

Riverside in July received just two bids on the project, which includes resurfacing Pine and East avenues bordering the park, removing a service drive from the park itself, re-landscaping the southern portion of the park and more closely uniting the park area with the train station.

The low bidder withdrew from consideration after making mistakes in its bid proposal. The other bidder’s offering was far higher than the village’s estimate. One particularly costly aspect of the project is lighting for the historic water tower.

Public Works Director Greg Koch investigated whether the village might be able to pull the lighting from the bid specifications to lower costs. However, about half of the total cost for the project is being paid for by an Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant, which is administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation. According to Koch, IDOT would not have approved the project without the lighting.

On Monday, Koch told trustees they can either choose to abandon the project or move forward, but that abandoning it would cost the village more money in the end, partly because the village would lose out on some grant funding.

The village would still need at some point to install handicapped-accessible sidewalk and facility entrance ramps and repave East and Pine avenues at a total cost of $269,000. Finishing the project and using grant money, the cost to the village is estimated to be $258,581. The total estimated cost of the project is $502,615, according to Koch.

By voting to rebid the project, trustees have not committed themselves to moving forward. Rather, they will wait to receive bids in January and make the decision to move ahead or scrap the project at that time.

-Bob Uphues