Fayetteville Parking Deck $5.3 Million Over Budget; Reserve Funds On The Table

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – City staff want the Fayetteville City Council to approve a plan to dip into reserve funds to pay for the planned downtown parking deck, which is running more than $5 million over budget.

A memo from the city’s development services director to aldermen states a recent estimate pegged the project’s deficit at $5.3 million. That brings the total cost of the project to a proposed $12.2 million, more than 77 percent higher than the Spring Street Municipal Parking Deck’s original estimated cost of $6.8 million.

The memo goes on to suggest several options to lower the project’s expenditures, including saving $1.1 million by having the main contract team manage the concrete work themselves instead of paying for a “turn-key” contractor. Development services director Jeremy Pate also suggests the city re-bid several aspects of the project because several packages either came in over budget or were never bid on.

Even with the savings, though, the project would still be left with a $3.8 million funding gap. Pate’s memo suggests aldermen approve a measure to help cover the gap by spending $2.3 million in city general fund reserves, with the intent to repay the money over time from revenue received through the parking deck.

The remaining $1.5 million could be covered by appropriating money “received from the Walton Arts Center Governance amendments back to the Walton Arts Center campus and the parking deck that will serve the entire area,” the memo states.

Fayetteville aldermen on Tuesday discussed the potential money moves and approved further discussion to take place at the next City Council meeting Oct. 7, where the options presented by city staff may be approved, denied or modified.

City officials began pushing the parking deck plans in 2012 to help alleviate parking problems near Fayetteville’s entertainment district. The 245-space deck is expected to be built near the intersection of Spring Street and School Avenue.

The project was initially set for a groundbreaking ceremony last month, but canceled the event to focus on how to deal with the parking deck’s costs. The parking deck is expected to be completed about a year after construction begins on the project.

4 comments

  • Morgan

    Excellent. The City can use reserve funds of a couple million dollars to pay for a bunch of parking spaces on a project 77% overbudget, they can take millions morr out for a park or two but somehow can’t manage to fund the raises that were promised to the firefighters by the current mayer over a couple of years ago or fund the three empty positions that have been unfilled due to the hiring freeze. Cuz who needs a fully staffed and equipped fire department anyways?

  • Vector Victor

    What company gave that grossly under budgeted initial cost assessment at 6.8 million, anyhow? I’m a little confused here. Based on reading the story, there were sub-projects what didn’t even receive a bid… If the overall project is estimated at $6.8M, yet you can’t even get a bid on certain tasks, wouldn’t it be prudent to advertise to the public to conduct another bid for contract and require at least three bids beforehand? No ground has been broken, yet a huge discrepancy exists between the initial and current estimates? This sounds shady.

    Whoever is overseeing this for Fayetteville seriously needs to get on top of this before there is a groundbreaking, else the people of Fayetteville are going to get bent over on this project.

  • Get Real

    Just a suggestion, Fayetteville, if you leave this gang in control of your city, you will deserve what you get. Follow the money, I’ll bet you find some interesting answers.

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