Riverview Park expansion forces city to dip into funds for other projects

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) – The expansion of Riverview Park is forcing North Augusta to dip into funds for other city projects.

On Monday, council voted to release more revenue from Capital Project Sales Tax III to pay for the costly additions.

Your one cent sales tax is funding the transformation of Riverview Park, which by the end of 2018 will have 2 new basketball courts, a new concessions area and a new entrance.

According to city documents, $2,500,000 million dollars was generated through Capital Project Sales Tax III for the expansion.

However, since it was passed construction costs have increased, forcing the city to throw more money at the additions to the home of the Nike Peach Jam.

“The cost were estimated 6 – 7 years ago,” City Councilman Fletcher Dickert told WJBF NewsChannel 6.

Then in 2016, the city was hit with a contract change, for $5 million dollars, in order to complete the expansion.

“So the budget has been $5 million for a year. What we did was we issued a contract for right around $1.2 million, several months ago, to get them [the contractor] started, because they hadn’t finished all the design work.” Dickert said. “We are trying to meet certain deadlines. So, we gave them enough money to start site work and foundation.”

City council allocated money from other projects to pay the remaining balance.

  • $1,069,450 dollars from the proposed new Public Safety Headquarters
  • $750,000 dollars from the Greeneway Expansion
  • $200,000 dollars from curbing and sidewalk projects

“I think that facility is fantastic, but I think that places like the Greeneway are used by a larger amount of the community.” North Augusta homeowner Josh Pierce said.

“Well we tried to pull from areas it wouldn’t totally affect,” said Dickert.

While Riverview Park didn’t drain all the revenue from C.P.S.T. III, city leaders hope to be better prepared, with project costs, in the next round that will go before taxpayers next year.

The city hopes to complete work on Riverview Park by December of 2018.

City leaders say construction will not impact this year’s Nike Peach Jam tournament.

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story. 

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