Lenoir City Council on Monday awarded bids for the Simpson Road East widening project and Central Park phase two.

Councilmen James Brandon and Jim Shields motioned and seconded, respectively, to award the Central Park project to contractor Brownlee Construction Inc., which passed 4-0. Councilmen Eddie Simpson and Bobby Johnson Sr. were absent.

The base bid is $369,895 for installation of a splash pad. Council also went with additional options of $205,000 for a restroom building, $191,830 for a pre-engineered pavilion and $15,000 for shade structure foundations. Council in a separate vote approved $77,000 for parking lot work.

Lenoir City Administrator Amber Scott said total work amounts to $858,725.

“Some of the alternates we didn’t select because we just decided we’d do them later,” Scott said. “We chose to amend that vote to add the parking lot in with those deductions to give us the right to go with alternate No. 6, which was the parking lot, but also we wanted to maintain the right to go out to bid for the parking lot because that $77,000 was without an asphalt topping. We want to have the right to get the best price for the best product.”

Zack Cusick, Lenoir City Parks and Recreation Department program coordinator, did not know when ground would be broken.

“That kind of depends on their timetable with other contracts that they have, but we’re hoping that since this is a bigger contract for them they should hopefully be able to move quickly,” he said. “I’d like to say quickly in a matter of weeks but there’s no telling the actual timetable of how we can work out the schedule.”

Cusick said he believed work could begin within the next couple of months.

Council also unanimously passed a bid to McKinnon Construction Company for $1.1 million for widening of Simpson Road East. The bid was the lowest of four.

Plans include widening the road from 18 feet to 26 feet, adding a sidewalk opposite First Baptist Church and fixing a hill coming from Shaw Ferry Road. Work is afforded through an 80-20 split through the Tennessee Department of Transportation Local Programs Surface Transportation Program funding.

“Super excited to get that project underway,” Scott said. “We’re actually waiting right now to schedule the pre-construction meeting, which would be the meeting with McKinnon Construction, who’s the prime contractor, and all their subs and to try to set up a start date. ... That’s such a big project for the area.”

In other news, Lenoir City Council:

• Approved a full-time position for Lenoir City Police Officer Ron DeLand.

• Adopted a resolution relating to transfer of public facilities for property located at 5744 U.S. Highway 321 and Waller Drive. Plans are to construct single-family residences and apartments in a development known as West Point Place.