Residents are one step closer to enjoying the sport of disc golf at Lochness Park in Blaine.
Park Board commissioners voted to move forward with a disc golf course designer at their Nov. 25 meeting.
In October, commissioners directed staff to send out a request for proposals (RFP) for the design and installation of a nine-hole disc golf course at Lochness Park, 11121 Lexington Ave. N.E.
After taking into consideration the Park Board's recommendations and that course design was a primary concern, staff revised the RFP and in its place sent out a Request for Design Qualifications (RDQ).
On Nov. 25, Jim Kappelhoff, Blaine Director of Parks and Recreation, explained that the goal of the RDQ was to find a qualified disc golf course designer to assist city staff with the design process.
City staff distributed RDQs to four vendors on Nov. 9, asking for the following information: individuals who would be assigned to the project, experience and work qualifications, details of three completed disc golf course design projects, and design fees.
Three disc golf course vendors responded by Nov. 19, including Fairway Flyerz Discs, Inc., based in St. Paul, Gotta Go Gotta Throw Inc. based in Golden Valley, and Par 72 Disc Golf based in Richfield.
Fairway Flyerz proposed a $920 design fee, Par 72 proposed a $1,125 design fee and Gotta Go Gotta Throw waived the fee for the opportunity to work with the City of Blaine on the disc golf course project.
Commissioner Tom Newland said he preferred to move forward with Fairway Flyerz because of owner Mike Snelson's résumé and his previous experience with the Park Board. In September 2007 Snelson presented feasibility studies for disc golf courses at four Blaine parks at no cost to the city.
Newland added that Gotta Go Gotta Throw doesn't have the "depth of design background" and Par 72 proposed the most expensive bid.
"I would like to see it go his way," said Commissioner Suzanne Anderson of Snelson, "because he already invested a reasonable amount of time that we didn't compensate him for. It seems like a good choice."
The board unanimously approved Fairway Flyerz as the designer for the disc golf course at Lochness Park.
Kappelhoff said Fairway Flyerz will design the course and assist the City in purchasing equipment, such as the baskets. He said when speaking to the references the vendors provided, most of the communities said it was beneficial to work with a designer and that cities can complete some aspects of basket and tee pad installation.
"We need someone familiar with design and installation and who can recommend the best equipment," said Kappelhoff. "Mr. Snelson from Fairway Flyerz would fit that need.
"He is a very energetic person and is the go-to person that a lot of folks have business with as far as these other communities that put in disc golf courses."
According to the bid information Snelson submitted, he has served as the lead designer for nine disc golf courses, co-designer for four courses and design adviser for 14 courses in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Construction of the disc golf course at Lochness Park is expected to begin next spring.