Long-awaited Dinuba projects soon to break ground

(Kenny Goodman)

More construction comes to Dinuba after city council awards contracts for park, new well and fire training facility projects

DINUBA – City projects that have been in the planning stages for years are finally coming to life after the city council awarded three contracts to construction companies to break ground on work that will benefit the city’s mission of bringing a higher quality of life to its residents.

At its April 23 meeting, the Dinuba City Council unanimously awarded contracts for construction of a new park and a fire department training facility, as well as the drilling of a new well on the west side of the city. City staff and council members remarked that all of the projects have been “a long time coming.”

Both the park project and the new well received millions of dollars in funding from the state and federal government, and funding for the fire department training facility will come from development impact fees and help from a community partner.

A park for all Dinubans

By the beginning of 2025, Dinuba residents will have a new park to play, gather and exercise at, thanks to a $2.5 million Urban Greening Program grant from the California Natural Resources Agency and a $2.7 million grant from the state’s Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The Viscaya Neighborhood Park will be just west of Roosevelt Elementary School, spread out over eight acres in the southeast corner of Nebraska Avenue and Viscaya Parkway. According to a city staff report, this is the first completely new park to be developed in the city in the last 30 years.

The park will include a wheelchair accessible playground, a “tiny tot” playground, basketball and pickleball courts, two covered picnic pavilions, a dog park, game tables and outdoor exercise equipment. There will also be a large amount of open space and a sidewalk trail that loops around the entire park, totaling about one third of a mile.

A detailed plan of the park layout is available on the city website under the April 23 council meeting agenda; Parks and Community Services Director Stephanie Hurtado said that the open space looks much smaller on the plan than it actually is.

Additionally, the city has already constructed a paseo on the south end of the park that is a quarter-mile long between Euclid Avenue and Viscaya Parkway and provides access to the school.

After receiving four bids on the project, the city selected Bakersfield-based company DOD Construction, which submitted the lowest bid of just over $5 million. Not included in that contract was the cost of playground equipment for the park, which the city purchased separately in March in order to avoid any delivery delays that would set back the rest of the park project.

City Engineer Jason Watts said that construction of the park should take approximately eight months and is expected to begin mid-May.

Training the Valley’s firefighters

Dinuba Fire Chief Greg Chastain said he was waiting to smile about the new fire department training facility until after the city council approved the contract award, but once it was finalized, the grin on his face couldn’t be contained.

With a contract of $946,250 awarded to Todd Companies, Dinuba firefighters will have a dedicated training facility for the first time in years; Dinuba firefighters and students in the Valley Regional Occupational Program (ROP) currently train in the Public Works Yard.

The new training facility will be on a one-acre site that the city already owns, located southwest of Sierra Way and Road 74. It will include a fire training tower facility and a portable restroom and classroom building for Valley ROP students to use when they take classes on-site.

Valley ROP is providing metal shipping containers to the fire department to build the training tower facility. Site improvements that are needed such as sewer, water, sidewalk and other infrastructure elements will be funded through the city’s ambulance fund and fire development impact fees.

Well No. 21

The city council also approved a contract that will get Dinuba closer to having a new well in the city’s water supply. Out of eight companies that bid on the project, the city awarded Arthur and Orum Well Drilling with a contract of just over $466,000 to complete the basics of drilling a new well.

Watts said once the well is drilled, the city will award another contract for site improvements to make it operable.

Watts went on to say that after the need for a new well was first identified over five years ago, the city received approximately $2.5 million, including $1 million from a budget earmark request made by State Sen. Melissa Hurtado in 2019 and a $1.5 million grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. At this point, that funding will not cover the total cost of the project but will pay for a majority of it. 

The city drilled a test well in 2020 to check the viability of the proposed well location, and Watts said the results were very positive. City staff plan to issue bid requests for the additional site improvements within the next few weeks.

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