A proposed splash pad in west Saint John has hit another hurdle after the tenders came in over budget.
City staff thought the construction would cost about $587,000, but the lowest bid was over $822,000.
The city's Tim O'Reilly says staff can't recommend the tender be awarded at this time because of that.
That puts the $100,000 funding offer from ACOA in jeopardy because the splash pad equipment must be delivered by March 31st.
"There's a window where we award the contract and actually receive the good or have the work done on site and so we have that two-week window available to us right now," says O'Reilly. "After that, it would actually be too late to get everything in order to meet that deadline."
A $200,000 pledge from the Regional Development Corporation is contingent on the city securing all project funding.
Council previously committed $250,000 towards the project and a further $120,000 in community funding has also been raised.
Splash pads are located within inner city neighborhoods where kids live in poverty without the ways or means of getting to a beach. Access to the inner city waterfront is limited as it’s mostly private property.
— Donna Reardon (@DonnaReardonsj) January 30, 2018
City staff say the high tender prices may be related to several factors such as aggressive tender process timelines and splash pad equipment delivery timelines, as well as limited splash pad equipment suppliers.
O'Reilly says staff understand the project's importance to the community and will continue to seek solutions.
They could involve a smaller design or allowing the water to dissipate instead of recycling and treating it for reuse at the splash pad.
Coun. Gerry Lowe says west siders have been promised a splash pad for five years and he doesn't want to see the project shelved.
"Even if we got a smaller one, the kids over there would appreciate it because they have nowhere to go, and they thought this was coming," says Lowe. "It's not the city's fault, it's nobody's fault except it came in $200,000 over what we thought it was going to be."