2017-10-11 / Front Page

Future of proposed Railroad Avenue Park in doubt

FINANCIAL SHORTFALL
By LARRY HILLIARD
Ledger Staff Writer

Trying to trim costs to bring the proposed Railroad Avenue Park project in line with the city’s most recent estimate won’t be easy as snip, snip, snip.

Sossamon Construction’s bid of $1,888,613 was nearly $600,000 more than the $1.3 million estimate.

Gaffney Administrator James Taylor said he more than likely can’t make large cuts to lower the price of construction since the city is relying on grants to fund a large portion of the project.

“You are dealing with the Appalachian Regional Council which has strict regulations on the bid and how much you can cut without jeopardizing the project,” Taylor said.

More than likely, the city will have to make some nips and cuts in an effort to trim the project cost.

Sossamon Construction official Larry Sossamon told city leaders he would be flexible in an attempt to pare down costs or the scope of the project. Specifically, he mentioned it might not be necessary to furnish an on-site trailer because of the topography of the land.

The park will be built on a 3- acre parcel adjacent to the county administration building and will feature an amphitheater with seating for as many as 3,000 people, a walking trail and 13 exercise stations.

City officials would like construction to begin in December with completion by June 1, which would be in time for the 2018 South Carolina Peach Festival.

City officials didn’t comment if the budget shortfall would affect that timeline.

In addition to the $350,000 Appalachian Regional Council grant, the city plans to use a portion of its Hospitality Tax revenue, a $40,000 grant from the state’s Parks and Recreational Development fund and a $50,000 grant from The Timken Foundation to cover the remaining costs.

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