The Town will go ahead with building the Acton skateboard park, even though tenders came in $50,000 over budget. Council approved the tender award at last week's meeting. The park, named the 3 Musketears Skatepark, will be located on the northwest corner of the Acton Arena and Community Centre property. In June, the community group, Acton Sports Action Park, presented council with $100,00 achieved through fundraising. The total budgeted for the park was $204,000. But when the Town tendered the project only two companies returned tender packages-- and both were over the budget amount. The lowest bid, and the one that was accepted, came from Gateman-Milloy Inc. of Kitchener, at $263,516.77. The shortfall of $50,400.73 will come from the Development Charges Deferred Revenue account and the Capital Financing Reserve Fund. According to the Town's Parks Design and Construction Co-ordinator Rakesh Mistry, the skate park cannot have any elements removed to compensate for the shortfall because it is designed in a circuit configuration to accommodate skateboards, in-line skates and BMX bikes. Removing an element, he said, would disrupt the flow with potential user conflicts. More costs would be incurred to redesign the park and delay its startup construction to the spring of 2007. Currently the construction is expected to begin this fall. Mistry attributed the high tender bids to the timing of the construction, the high Canadian dollar making materials more expensive, higher operating costs such as fuel, and the specialized concrete forms required for skateboard parks. Only a few companies are qualified to do the work, he said, and many had already lined up fall construction jobs in the spring. He suggested in the future the staff could look at completing the fundraising and issuing tenders earlier.
But Mayor Rick Bonnette, however, pointed out that this was the schedule the Town and ASAP had agreed to and the tenders just came in high. He said while the Town could re-tender, they could run the risk of the costs being higher. He added that many Region of Halton projects are also coming in over budget due to the Canadian dollar and the cost of oil. "It's a project the whole of Acton is looking forward to, the kids are looking forward to it, and we have to do something for the kids. I'm in full support of this going ahead," said Bonnette. Councillor Clark Somerville said, while ASAP has been planning the park since 2002, the group raised the $100,000 in three and half months. "So that's a testament to the Acton community and the businesses and even the businesses throughout Halton Hills as well, that we had that tremendous success," he said. Both Bonnette and Somerville are members of the ASAP committee. The 3 Musketears Skatepark was named in honour of three Acton teens killed in a train-car crash in 2000.