By LANDON WOODROOF
Since it was acquired by the City of Brentwood in 2010, the Ravenswood Mansion has turned into a popular wedding and events venue for those looking to celebrate in a historic setting.
The increased use of the building and the grounds, however, has ended up costing the city money in terms of additional, ongoing maintenance costs.
On Monday night, the City Commission voted to approve $69,000 to try to stem some of the expense coming from that maintenance, particularly as it pertains to the Ravenswood Mansion grounds.
The contract covers the cost and labor associated with installing new stone pavers outside the mansion.
City Manager Kirk Bednar said the city has been paying thousands of dollars per year the past several years to replace sod at the mansion. The costs peaked in fiscal year 2016 at $20,000. In fiscal year 2017, the city paid about $10,000 for sod replacement.
The pavers are intended to significantly cut back on that cost. The city will be acquiring 3,600 square feet of Belguard Dublin Cobble Stone to lay on the Ravenswood Mansion grounds, enough to accommodate large tents set up for special events.
The city initially put out bids for this project last year, but those bids came in way over budget.
This year, the city tried a different route, putting out a bid for labor and installation but deciding to purchase the paver stones itself. That strategy combined with ordering the stones in the winter, a non-peak event time, led to this attempt coming in under budget.
Jarvis Sign Company has been awarded a $54,200 contract to install the pavers, which the city is purchasing directly from the manufacturer for $9,900. The city has budgeted an additional $5,000 for contingencies.
“This won’t get us completely out of sod replacement,” Assistant City Manager Jay Evans said at a Feb. 8 City Commission briefing. “But hopefully it will be much less than we’ve had to do in the past.”
City Manager Kirk Bednar said that the city had some left over money after Phase 2 improvements at Marcella Vivrette Smith Park came in under budget.
Bednar said that work would begin on installing the pavers in the next few weeks and that the project should be completed by the time the spring wedding season rolls around.