Windsor’s farmers market structure will cost about $60,000 more than budgeted | MyWindsorNow.com

Back to: News

Windsor’s farmers market structure will cost about $60,000 more than budgeted

This mockup shows where the new farmers market structure will stand at the north end of 5th Street in Boardwalk Park. Although its construction should finish before the market starts in June, officials say it will cost about $60,000 more than budgeted.

Learn more

Windsor’s farmers market will return this summer at Boardwalk Park.

To learn more about the farmers market or find out how to become a vendor go online to http://www.windsorgov.com/803/Windsor-Farmers-Market.

Windsor's farmers market should have its own structure in Boardwalk Park when it starts in June, but it will cost about $60,000 more than officials expected.

Director of Parks, Recreation and Culture Eric Lucas broke the news to Windsor's town board during its Monday night meeting.

When the project's original bids came back in January, the bid cheapest put the project about $60,000 more than its budgeted $318,380, Lucas said Monday.

Looking for ways to reduce costs, Lucas formed a small team. It decided the town should take on the role and responsibilities of the general contractor and break the work into smaller projects, biding each out separately.

Despite the changes, staff couldn't severely reduce the price, Lucas said.

The structure and its installation account for most of the cost, splitting the work into smaller projects didn't reduce that price. Even if bids for the project's smaller parts come back with some savings, they won't make a dramatic difference in the total cost of the project, he said.

"We need to figure out a way, if it's even possible, to avoid having our estimates this far off," board member Brenden Boudreausaid. "Because we could have budgeted for this much better."

Lucas agreed but recommended board members accept the higher-than-budgeted cost so work on the pavilion could continue.

"We need to make a decision in order to stick with our timeline of trying to open up the farmer's market in late June," he said. "My fear is that if we wait much longer we will probably push the late June opening."

The extra money needed to pay for the structure will have to come out of the town's capital improvement fund, which is budgeted to end the year with an $8 million balance, Town Manager Kelly Arnold said.

"I think we need to move ahead with this because of the timing," said Windsor Mayor Kristie Melendez. "We want it done in time for the concert series and I think we want it done right."

Because the town plans to rent out the structure it will provide some revenue opportunities, slightly offsetting its cost, she said.

"It won't just sit there," Melendez said. "It will have the farmers market starting this summer, so cost recovery will start very soon."

Last fall, Lucas proposed building the 84-by-56-foot pavilion, visually similar to Boardwalk Park's existing band shell.

Although a different, slightly smaller, design would have saved some money, board members said Monday they wanted to keep the park's visual elements consistent.

Officials say the structure at the north end of 5th Street will become the new entryway to Boardwalk Park in addition to serving as the home of the farmers market.

"The uniformity in the park is appropriate," board member Paul Rennemeyersaid. "This is going to be the first thing you see when you drive into the park from the main entrance."