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Budget increased for Victoria Park project

Council committee OK'd $15,000 that may be needed to complete project
victoria park cons.jpg
Work is continuing on a $378,000 upgrade of Victoria Park that includes, among other things, extensive landscaping and this new archway. Dave Dawson/OrilliaMatters

Work is continuing on the significant upgrades to Victoria Park, the picturesque mid-town property bordered by Coldwater Road, Patrick Street and Nottawasaga Street.

Last year, city council approved an upgrade of the park that opened to the public in 1872. Almost $78,000 was spent last year on design, sign restoration and the creation of a new archway that was in place for the city’s sesquicentennial celebration at the park.

Earlier this year, council awarded a $300,079 contract to Michael Scott Landscaping for landscaping and site work.

Park improvements include a new main pathway through the park, retaining walls and stairs, a shade structure and small plaza space, refurbished artwork and associated interpretive signage, benches, recycling containers, decorative paving, planting beds, and the installation of a concrete ramp to complete an accessible link through the park.

Construction at the park started in early August. To date the following work has been completed:

  • Demolition and excavation;
  • Electrical servicing;
  • Retaining wall and stairs; and
  • Approximately 50 per cent of concrete work.

Last week, council committee approved an additional $15,000 to the budget. The money may not be required, but was recommended due to the timing of the upcoming municipal election. Council meets tonight and will not meet again until mid-November.

“Adjustments to the contract have been required to deal with unknown factors and the significant grade challenges of the site,” said a report to council committee. “Adjustments to wall heights, an underground well located in the centre of the park and the direction of tree roots that are impacting the grading of the ramp have all contributed to minor design alterations.”

Those issues mean 90% of the budget has been exhausted, leaving approximately $1,500 remaining.

“The project is not over budget at this time; however, staff are concerned that should further issues arise, the project may not continue without the flexibility of additional project contingency allowance,” said the report. “As such, staff recommends that the project allowance amount be increased by $15,000. Any funds remaining in the project will be returned to city reserves.”

Council committee, unanimously and without discussion, endorsed staff’s recommendation.