The Orange City Council and the Economic Development Corporation met in special session to review the revised cost estimates for the proposed Riverfront Park/Boardwalk/Pavilion project. Jeffery Carbo of Jeffery Carbo and Associates presented the council with construction options to reduce the total cost of the original estimate.

“We missed the mark on the water’s edge. The majority of our cost overrun was along the waterfront,” said Carbo.” We can remove the steel sheet pilings and modify the wetland plantings and eliminate some money.”

Carbo made recommendations that included bringing the boardwalk from over the water to the water’s edge. “We can move the boardwalk from being actually over the water to the edge of the water. This would eliminate the need for the steel sheet pilings, still leave the vinyl sheet piling for bank stabilization and have those on the walk looking over the edge look straight into the river,” said Carbo. “We can save money by reducing the width of the boardwalk from 14 feet to 12 feet; there would still be the bump outs to attach bumpers so that boats could be tied to the dock. By doing this the floating dock could be eliminated.”

Other proposals included planting less trees and bushes, bringing in the Front Street sidewalk from the curb to eliminate the possibility of interference with utilities, not installing the cover over the pavilion and eliminating the stamping of the asphalt on Division Street. The stamping would have given the paving the appearance of a brick roadbed.

The original estimate of $11,100,000 included a contingency of $200,000 for unexpected complications that may surface once the work in the river starts. The proposed reductions would amount to $6,342,000.

The revised estimate of $5.6 million would include cost of base concrete work, costs of electrical services by Entergy and a contingency of $500,000.

“We sent this revision out to a third party to have them look over our revisions and make any recommendations they felt may be necessary. They suggested that the contingency be put at the $500,000 mark due to the amount of work that will have to be done along the river bank. There is no telling what may be found once work starts there,” Carbo explained.

The budget process was explained and it appears that the project is financially feasible.

“We are finally in sight of accomplishing our goal and I would like to see things begin to move forward. I make a motion that we start the bid process.” said Ben Culpepper of the EDC.

Mayor Brown Claybar countered that there would have to be two motions, one from the EDC and one from the City Council.

Councilwoman Theresa Beauchamp stated that there was a need for something downtown.

“We have a great theater, beautiful old churches, a world class museum, but we need places to eat and places to shop. We need things for people to do downtown.”

Beauchamp questioned the pavilion cover. Carbo explained that the slab would be in place and that later the cover could be installed. Not installing the pavilion cover would be a reduction of about $400,000 at the time of construction.

The budgeting of the cost would only include income from sales tax and not from the hotel, motel occupancy taxes.

The motion from the EDC was passed unanimously. The motion by the Council was passed with Councilman Cullen Smith dissenting.

Bid advertising will start Oct. 23, with bids to be opened on Nov. 22. The recommendation could be made to the council in mid December and the contract could be awarded by the end of December, 2011.

The projected date of the start of construction is January, 2012 with a projected completion date of April, 2013.