CORPUS CHRISTI, TX — The Hazel Bazemore Dog Park is back to square one.
Nueces County Commissioner Robert Hernandez told KRIS 6 the previous contractors were not working on the dog park, but he had to pay over $400,000 of taxpayer money because of something called the Prompt Payment Act.
“I didn’t know that the county had something called the Prompt Payment Act that the former judge told us to pay the contractor anyway,” Commissioner Hernandez said.
Commissioner Hernandez said when took office on January 1, 2021, the dog park was designed, and the contractor was chosen.
When he went by the park to see what was being done, he was not happy. And having to pay a contract over $400,000 of taxpayer money and have nothing to show for it is horrible.
“As you can see, they put down some ground cover called, caliche and that was supposed to kill the grass. As you can see it is full of grass. And then we have those canopies behind me, they are galvanized, and they are already beginning to rust,” Commissioner Hernandez said.
As we originally reported back in September 2021, the project was awarded to ABM Industries who subcontracted the work and design concept to Wheaton Engineering.
Gwen Villareal visits the park with her grandkids and says she’s not happy with how it was handled.
“I think it’s a huge waste of money, there is nothing there but dirt,” Villareal said.
Hernandez said they now have to find other sources in order to raise money for a new dog park and start all over. He says a new dog park project would go across the street from the playground and splash pad at Hazel Bazemore Park.
“It’s a way better design. It was designed by Gavin Engineering,” Commissioner Hernandez said.
Villareal said she won’t mind having a dog park if they find the money and keep safety in mind.
“I think a great idea is to have a dog park kind of close to the kid’s park, but a little further away. Unless, like I said there’s a fence or something keeping the kids safe,” Villareal said.
Commissioner Hernandez said he was told the new dog park would cost the same amount and it will be bigger. He also says this would not impact the splash pad being built next to the playground at the park.