Newark City Staff Proposes $8.1 Million Park Just Days After Council Rejects Budget

Newark – Just days after the Newark City Council rejected an almost $90 Million Proposed 2018 Budget, city staff says it wants a $8.1 million Storm Water Pond to replace the old Rodney dormitory site.

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On Monday, November 6, 2017, the Newark City Council voted 4 – 3 to reject the $87.4 Million Proposed 2018 Budget, sending Acting City Manage Tom Coleman and Finance Director David Del Grande back to the drawing board. Some members of the council wanted to see deeper cuts and possible staff layoffs. (Read More About That Here)

Just two days later, Wednesday, November 8, 2017, Tim Filasky, interim public works director, told Newark residents attending a public workshop, that the city’s preferred Storm Water Pond Concept would cost $8.1 million.

According to the presentation provided at the workshop the  $8.1 million is broken down as follows. The purchase of the land, environmental remediation and demolition of the buildings would cost $4.2 million. The actual construction of the pond would add another $1.4 million. And then finally, the added park amenities would cost resident another $2.5 million.

In the earlier workshop, Filasky was also asked if anyone had studied the life cycle of the equipment at Handloff Park as opposed to building new amenities at the proposed pond.  Filasky replied by saying “this is primarily a storm water project and then we want to add park amenities”, adding ” A hole in the ground isn’t as pretty as a hole in the ground with park amenities.”

In the previous workshop a resident asked Filasky how much it would cost the Parks and Recreation Department to maintain the pond, he declined to go into detail regarding the added cost, only to say that that it would be wrapped in the larger parks and rec budget.

At the Nov 8th workshop Filasky added more detail regarding the maintenance cost. He showed a slide that indicated that the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) of the pond would cost residents $30,000 annually.

Before the project can proceed the council will meet to discuss the preferred concept, before sending it to a referendum, where voters would ultimately decide the fate of the project. City council is scheduled to discuss the proposed $8.1 million project at a December 11, 2017 council meeting, but after the council rejected the Proposed 2018 Budget, asking for more cuts,  it’s not clear if the project has the votes to send it to a referendum.

Details for the proposed project can be found here




Image Credits: City Of Newark

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