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

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

FOI records provided to the News Bulletin from the City of Nanaimo in 2018. (News Bulletin file photo)
Samra’s numerous FOI requests to City of Nanaimo aren’t ‘vexatious,’ privacy commissioner decides

Former CAO says records will assist her in a future B.C. Human Rights Tribunal hearing

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Two Nanaimo care-home residents have died during COVID-19 outbreak

Death reported Monday was the second related to Chartwell Malaspina outbreak, says Island Health

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Nanaimo RCMP are seeking the public’s help after a man allegedly assaulted a clerk at James General Store on Victoria Road on Jan. 18. (Submitted photo)
Suspect screams at customer then assaults store clerk on Nanaimo’s Victoria Road

RCMP asking for information about Jan. 18 incident at James General Store

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Rendering of two residential buildings proposed for the corner of Haliburton and Milton streets. (Matthew T. Hansen Architect image)
Two five-storey residential buildings approved for Haliburton Street

City council issues development permit for 79-unit complex at Haliburton and Milton

A suspect has been arrested in connection with fires at Drinkwater Elementary (pictured) and École Mount Prevost. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson suspect arrested after fires at Cowichan Valley schools

Drinkwater Elementary and Mount Prevost schools hit within a week

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Members of the BC RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU) is on route to Drummond Park opposite of Fulford Habour on Saltspring Island after the discovery of a suspicious cylindrical-shaped device. (Google/Screencap)
Bomb disposal unit en route to Salt Spring Island after suspicious device found in park

Police say a resident discovered the device Wednesday morning in Drummond Park opposite BC Ferries terminal

Seven streets in downtown Duncan, including Station Street, will soon have new native names added to their signage. (Submitted graphic)
New Duncan street signs will be in English and Hul’q’umi’num

Seven streets to get additional names in First Nations language

Most Read