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village park

Revised cost estimates for Village Park, the artificial waterway through Village North, show the project has ballooned from $1.1 million to $2.7 million. However, council has made no commitment to the $2.7 million version of the park until a long-term review of the capital plan is presented in the fall. Work will be done on the portion of the park between Blackcomb Way and Main Street this summer, but that work — estimated at about $500,000 — is included in the 1996 capital plan, which provides $700,000 for partial construction of the park. Parks Planner Jan Jansen, in updating council on the project Monday, noted the revised cost estimate for the 6.2 acre park is about $450,000 an acre, which is similar to what private developers are paying for urban parks. Part of the reason the project has jumped so much in price is that details of the park design — including pumps to supply water to pools alongside the creek — are only now being finalized. When the original $1.1 million budget was allocated no detailed design work had been done. Councillor Thelma Johnstone suggested council couldn’t deal with the revised cost estimates until a review of the capital budget is done. Councillor Dave Kirk, on the other hand, expressed concern that the centrepiece of the village expansion could be downgraded. Acting Administrator Bill Barratt suggested the park could be built according to the current plans but paid for over three years, rather than two as originally intended. He added that would mean delaying some other parks projects, such as washrooms at Alpha Lake Park. Mayor Ted Nebbeling intimated that council and staff are going to have to begin looking more closely at a cultural facility and how such a facility will impact the municipality’s capital budget. "I’m getting more and more inquiries about a theatre," he said. Nebbeling later added: "I’m a little concerned about the looseness of wallets lately."