Drawings of the layout of a Rotary Centennial Garden at Maffeo Sutton Park. (Victoria Drakeford/City of Nanaimo image)

Proposed garden at Maffeo Sutton Park goes $186,000 over budget

City of Nanaimo’s finance and audit committee recommends funding the shortfall

A planned peace garden project at Maffeo Sutton Park is going to cost nearly $200,000 more than expected.

Last year, councillors approved the Rotary Centennial Garden project, a planned peace garden located in the northeast corner of Maffeo Sutton Park. The garden is a legacy project for Rotary’s coming 100th anniversary in May.

The project is being managed by city staff. The Rotary Club of Nanaimo has committed $200,000 toward the project, which is intended to be completed in time for the service club’s upcoming 100th anniversary in May.

But on Feb. 19, the city’s finance and audit committee unanimously recommended that council provide $186,000 with the money coming from the city’s strategic infrastructure reserve fund.

The move comes after a recent staff report indicated that the project is under budget by $186,120 after the city received six bids on the project and that the lowest “acceptable” bid was $287,000.

According to that report, of the $200,000 committed by the Rotary Club, the organization spent $65,770 on engineering and architectural for work and then cut the city a cheque for the remaining $134,230.

As result, the lowest available bid of $287,000 exceeds the city’s available funds by $152,770 according to the report, which notes that in addition to the shortfall, an additional $19,000 is required for on-site work and another $14,350 is needed to “compensate the bidder due to delays” in awarding the contract.

Should the funding increase be approved, the project is expected to be completed by its original May deadline.

RELATED: Rotary gets the go-ahead for a peace garden at Maffeo Sutton Park

RELATED: Million-dollar accessible playground envisioned at Maffeo Sutton Park

During the Feb. 19 meeting, Richard Harding, the city’s general manager of parks and recreation, said the Rotary Club has “fulfilled” its financial obligations, but has no more money available to fund the project. He also said staff support funding the project and that if it is funded, the garden would be constructed at the same time as the nearby playground receives upgrades.

“Staff believe it is a good project,” Harding said. “It will tie into the redevelopment at the same time as the playground, so the disruption to the park users there, we hope, will be once and not a number of times.”

There were some questions from councillors about the project, such as whether other amenities like public washrooms had been considered and why the project’s cost increased.

“We often see projects come in over budget, but this was almost double [what was] anticipated,” Coun. Erin Hemmens said.

Harding explained that the project is more complicated than one might think.

“It’s a unique project, there are some elements to it with the lighting … and such,” he said. “Not to pick on engineering, but it is not a typical road or pipe that goes in so there are some extra costs that came with the designs.”

Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog said the project is a “wonderful enhancement” to Maffeo Sutton Park.

The recommended budget increase will be on the agenda at an upcoming regular council meeting.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram


City Hall

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Deborah Saucier, Vancouver Island University president and vice-chancellor, was among the panelists in the Future of Post-Secondary Education discussion at the State of the Island Economic Summit on Oct. 28. (VIEA YouTube screenshot)
Island’s universities challenged to ‘build community’ amid remote learning

VIU, UVic and Royal Roads University admin discuss COVID-19 impact at economic summit

John Albert Buchanan, accused in the September 2017 murder of Richard Sitar in Nanaimo, is currently standing trial in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Man accused in Nanaimo beating death told police he didn’t hurt victim

Arresting officer takes the stand in John Albert Buchanan’s second-degree murder trial

MNP senior economist Susan Mowbray presents the State of the Island Economic Report on Thursday night to conclude the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s virtual summit. (VIEA image)
Not-so-rosy State of the Island report caps off virtual summit

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s summit took place online Oct. 27-29

Canadian Federation of University Women Nanaimo members Wendy Smiley, left, Karen Skarpnes, storyteller Margaret Murphy, CFUW-Nanaimo president Jeri Manley and club treasurer Kathy Torhjelm gather in recognition of the club’s 75th anniversary. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo chapter of Canadian Federation of University Women celebrates 75th anniversary

Group gathered via Zoom earlier this month to recall its history in the area

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Police service dog Herc helped RCMP locate and arrest suspects in the Ladysmith area on Oct. 23, 2020, related to a stolen vehicle. (Submitted)
RCMP nab prolific property offender in Ladysmith with assist from police dog Herc

Police attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled from the area towards Chemainus.

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Most Read