WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – County commissioners approved a new contractor to build its River Ranch County Park project Tuesday after firing its previous builder selected several years ago and more than a year of delays.

Russell Fishbeck, county parks director, said its previous contractor Ritter, Botkin Prime Construction Co. was terminated from the project last year after “performance issues.”

Fishbeck said the park project is controlled by a surety bond which did not help the timeline of the already delayed project. Per protocol, the bonding company working with the county has different companies submit bids for construction for leaders to consider and then select.

Fishbeck said the restarted search for contractors slowed down park construction, which broke ground in 2018 and was originally slated for completion in 2020.

The company now responsible for completing the project is Chasco Constructors after commissioners voted Tuesday morning. Fishbeck said the company will likely start construction in several weeks.

The company is expected to redo some work, like plumbing and parking lots, already started by the project’s previous contractors.

“There’s some facilities that will need some repairs made as well. It’s just going to take a little time,” said Fishbeck.

The county did have to allocate more funds toward the project’s maximum budget, due to rising costs in building materials. Fishbeck said the estimated total of park construction is about $11 million.

With the potential for completion in 2023, Fishbeck said the park will preserve the county’s natural wonders as more people move to the area.

“In a growing developing area of the county, it’s kind of an oasis,” said Fishbeck. “Knowing it’s going to preserve this nature for future generations is a real draw.”

Fishbeck notes the group Friends of the River Ranch County Park still aims to connect volunteers with park organizers despite the delay in construction. Its next meeting will take place Sept. 14, according to the group’s website.