Though Columbia County commissioners recently earmarked more sales tax money for Evans Town Center Park, any extra amenities they might add to the project still must be determined.
The commission voted this month to include $1.2 million in leftover special purpose local option sales tax money to the $1.7 million already designated for construction of the park on Evans Town Center Boulevard.
Now, officials must determine how many park amenities they can afford.
Johnson, Laschober and Associates, an Augusta-based design consulting firm, has been hired to determine just what is affordable for the park.
"All the various amenities, they're going to price out separately," said county Community and Leisure Services Director Barry Smith. "In other words, restroom facilities will have a price. The walking track will have a price. The outdoor amphitheater will have a price on it."
Amenities might include a large zero-depth fountain, two parking lots, a gazebo, a dog park, an entrance plaza, picnic areas and water fountains.
The overall cost of the project as currently envisioned is nearly $4.5 million, so insufficient funding exists to immediately include everything officials want for the area once called Doctors Hospital Field.
"We've got to do all the site work, put irrigation in the ground and do all the grading," Smith said. "But above and beyond that, we'll have to see what the cost estimates come in at."
Officials first unveiled an overly ambitious park master plan in January 2008, but the $8 million price tag forced them to embrace a minimalist approach to the passive recreation facility.
Though the county scaled down the project considerably, the design still was incomplete as of May.
"We're in the final stages of design for Town Center Park," county Facility Services Manager Paul Scarbary said last month. "It should go out to bid in six to eight weeks."
Smith said that he hopes to meet this week with Johnson, Laschober and Associates and bring an itemized list of park projects to the commission next month.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.