The Parks and Recreation Commission decided Tuesday to take more time to consider its options for the gym floor at the Chester Hynes Community Center.

The Parks and Recreation Commission decided Tuesday to take more time to consider its options for the gym floor at the Chester Hynes Community Center.

Because of their decision, the commissioners said from their point of view there will be no need for Pine Bluff aldermen at the July 2 city council meeting to vote to override a mayoral veto concerning the gym floor.

The commissioners also decided to take a harder look at all of the work that will need to be done at the center and re-approach the Pine Bluff City Council at a later date with a funding request for the whole project, rather than bringing them individual bids or funding requests for the piece-by-piece parts of the remaining work.

There has been much back-and-forth at City Council meetings in recent weeks about the gym floor, but this is the first time the commission has met since the item became an issue with the council.

Sports Court of Arkansas was the low bidder out of two the first time the project was bid, at a cost of $41,520 for an interlocking plastic-style floor that had been researched and selected by parks staff. Parks and Recreation Department Director Angela Parker brought the proposed contract for the bid to the Parks Commission, City Council Public Works Committee and the full council, at which point Mayor Carl A. Redus Jr. asked that the proposal be removed so that he could re-bid the project with the hopes of getting a better price, even if it meant a different type of flooring.

When the bids for the second round came in, four companies bid, but there were no other bids for the interlocking type of flooring. The other bids were for hardwood, roll vinyl and seamless pad. Three of those bids — all from the same company — were less than the original low bid, but some of the aldermen expressed suspicion about the bids because they were much lower than the other companies who bid on the same type of flooring.

Both Redus and the aldermen supporting the first bid accused each other of setting the city up for potential lawsuits.

Despite protests from the mayor, the City Council voted June 18 to accept the original bid from Sports Court of Arkansas. The mayor vetoed the item Friday. In a poll by The Commercial on Friday, six aldermen said they would be willing to vote to override the mayor’s veto, although two of them said their position could change with new information. Six votes would be needed to override the veto.

On Friday, a committee of the Parks Commission viewed some of the types of flooring options and they further discussed them during their regular monthly meeting Tuesday. The lower bids for the hardwood flooring from the second round of bidding have additional costs associated with them, and the commissioners reviewed the costs of potential add-ons from that contractor.

Commissioner Jeffrey Pulliam said he preferred hardwood floors. Community Center Director Laura Hildreth said that would cause problems for some of the types of sports that use the floor, like the soccer program. Pulliam asked her to come up with estimates by percentage for how much the floor is used by various sports to help in the decision. Hildreth and Parker noted other pros and cons between the hardwood and interlocking plastic floors, and Pulliam said they would look at all of that before coming to a final decision.

Matthews presented the commission with a list of to-do items at Chester Hynes — a list he has already presented to the City Council — showing that a total of $107,574 in additional work will be needed at the community center. The City Council has already allocated $59,872 for improvements, and that amount has already been spent.

Parker said she might have some changes to Matthews’ list that would make the amount slightly higher.

The commission decided to solidify that list of items, including the amount for whatever gym floor bid they choose in the end, and bring that total amount to the council in the form of a request for funding.

In other business, the commission:

• Said they had no problem with a plan presented by Tina Terry, who would like to operate a canoe rental service on Lake Langhoffer. They asked Terry to provide them with a letter of approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which owns the lake. Terry said she will not keep the boats at the lake, but rather at an off-site location, and make them available by reservation at the sandy beach area, which is Parks Department property. Parker said she would also seek written approval from the city attorney’s office to keep on file.

• Gave Parker and Hildreth authorization to go before the Pine Bluff City Council Public Works Committee with a request for additional funding so that Hildreth can pay staff for several summer youth programs she would like to do.

• Accepted a $500 donation from the Pine Bluff Bow Hunters representative, range captain John Robertson, for the Merrill Community Center. Hildreth thanked them and said the funds would be used to purchase sports balls for the children.

• Heard from Fred Toney, who requested that the commission consider having regular hours and a staff member for the Bloom Tennis Center. Parker said it was not within the department’s current budget to provide staffing. Hildreth and Toney exchanged contact information to discuss the idea further using volunteer workers. The Bloom Tennis Center was further discussed when the commission approved a request from the Police Department to use office space in the facility for some of its AmeriCorps cadets.

• Welcomed new commissioner Christopher Blunt to the commission and said goodbye to outgoing commissioner Teki Jimenez.