After the $1.85 million advisory referendum was given the green light by Shawano voters earlier this month, after some discussion, the Shawano Common Council voted to officially approve the resolution at Tuesday night’s common council meeting. Voters on April 4 gave their approval with a ‘yes’ vote winning 767 to 440.
Members on the council deliberated exact costs with Park and Rec Director Matt Hendricks before giving their approval. Hendricks explains the estimated cost to finish the build out of the projects cannot be exactly identified as of yet.
“The 1.85 [million-dollar estimation] is ours with significant guidance from professionals in the field to give us a number that we can take to the public and say this is what we believe it will cost to happen,” Hendricks told the council Tuesday. “Obviously, that can come in under and over. Very seldom does a budget number hit directly on.”
Funds from the referendum will go towards completing the construction to Franklin and Smalley Park, as well as the installation of a Splash Pad.
While it’s difficult to know the project’s exact cost at this juncture, Hendricks assures if the number does come over the estimated cost, there are many avenues the city can take to ensure its completion. That includes expanding resources by seeking help from organizations who partner with the park and rec department.
“Our partners so far [include the] Farmers Market, Pathways, Rotary, Optimist Club, Wild Ones, groups that have a vested interest,” Hendricks explained. “And they may not be coming forth with huge checks of money, but sometimes they do come forth with human resources, with people. For example, landscaping work can be done by other folks.”
Other ways to save on costs, Hendricks notes, is by changing the scope of the project, which can be done without changing intent of the project.
“We can still intentionally design and build the parks as they are,” Hendricks said. “For example, we just had a change order of Phase one of Franklin Park where we didn’t remove anything, but we took a deeper, harder look at the materials used to construct it, and we reduced the overall project by about $8,000 to $9,000.”
Hendricks believes that because of working closely with the companies familiar with these types of park build outs and construction, the sum that was constructed for the ballot will be accurate.
Steinke Resumes Council President
The Shawano Common Council also approved Sandy Steinke to continue as Common Council President by unanimous vote, as brought forward by Alderperson Bob Kurkiewicz.