Williamson County reduces scope of voter-approved park projects following increase in construction cost

Williamson County

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Williamson County leaders are having to scale back some plans for parks and recreation projects.

The culprit: heightened construction costs after voters approved a $35 million bond in 2019. The bonds included new trails, park improvements, road and bridge projects and grant projects that were to Cedar Park and the YMCA.

Many projects have been completed, some are under construction and a few are now on hold.

“It’s not uncommon for us to have to reduce scope or make some modifications,” said Russell Fishbeck, Williamson County Parks and Recreation Director. But he says this year’s cost adjustment is far more drastic.

The county plans to reduce the scope of three park projects.

Champion Park in Cedar Park was set to have an expanded parking lot that would add 75 new parking spots, but now that project is being reduced. Fishbeck said the scope’s being reduced to about 45 spaces.

At Berry Springs in Georgetown, a proposed RV sire and a new visitors center will be cut. Meanwhile, restroom improvement at the Southwest Williamson County Regional Park will also scaled back.

“All in, those three locations we’re estimating our overage would be about a half a million with our reduced scope,” said Fishbeck. “Originally, if we were to do all phases and all projects at those three locations we would be over-budget about $2.3 million.”

The goal isn’t to scrap these projects altogether. Fishbeck’s optimistic the cost will go down.

“Who knows what’s going to happen in the future,” he said. “But hopefully we’re going to see some leveling off and some reversal to some degree.”

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