The cost of Town & Country’s Town Square is increasing, but the additional costs are not unexpected.
“We made some changes to the design of the plaza area, and for those changes that the board decided to make, we had to pay Stock and his subcontractor, which is our landscape architect, to make those changes,” Alderman Skip Mange [Ward 1] said, referring to Chesterfield-based Stock & Associates Consulting Engineers, Inc.
The design changes include alterations the trail loop connection, the landscape buffer and modifications to the plaza area.
On Feb. 26, the city’s Board of Aldermen approved an ordinance adding $33,200 to the Town Square Preliminary Site Plan revisions purchase order with Stock & Associates. The ordinance also amended the city’s 2018 budget by increasing a Capital Improvements Fund expenditure account and appropriating funds from the unappropriated balance of the Capital Improvements Fund to cover the cost increase.
The passage of the budget increase means Stock & Associates will have the resources necessary to alter construction drawings and allow increased examination of the certain project areas in regard to engineering.In related matters, a change order from Brinkmann Holdings, LLC received its first reading by the aldermen, also with the intent to amend the 2018 budget by increasing a Capital Improvements Fund expenditure account and appropriating funds to cover that cost.
According to information provided to the aldermen, an increase of $103,109 would allow for asbestos abatement, MSD drawing revisions, slope stability features and other items.
“When we tore down the old Wirth home, it had asbestos in it, and we had to do some abatement, and that was a little bit of the money,” Mange explained. “Then, there were some slope stabilizations that the soil engineers on the site wanted us to do for the area of the lake.”
According to Mange, the amendments brought before the council are to examine items that have been discovered during the excavation of the site and which could not have been determined at a prior phase.
“MSD came back with some revisions – and you have to get MSD approval for any type of project like this relative to sanitation and storm sewers – and they came back with some requirements and changes to the site plan that are different than what the contract was with Brinkmann,” Mange said. “So we had to make those changes, and that required additional engineering work, which Stock did in order to get our plans approved by MSD.”
According to information provided to the board, the obligations made on the project to date, including the original purchase price of the property, total around $8,023,099. The city paid about $2,250,000 for the site in January 2015. Obligations relating solely to the development agreement with Brinkmann Holdings, LLC, as approved to date, total about $5,099,741.
According to Mange, the city is paying for the project out of cash in the bank, while maintaining a balanced general fund budget and retaining more extra funds than required for an emergency reserve.
“We’re required to keep a 50-percent reserve, and we’ll have about a 75-percent reserve when we’re done with all this,” Mange said. “We’ve had a surplus of cash in the bank over the years, and now we’re returning that to the citizens to build this project for their use. It’s an investment in infrastructure rather than letting it sit in the bank and earn .5-percent interest.”
The city is tracking toward a tentative completion date of mid to late 2018 for the square.
“We had a very fortunate start in December,” Mange said. “They got an unbelievable amount of work done in winter, so the August completion date seems very reasonable.”