BOCA RATON, Fla. — There are 32 parks in Boca Raton and the city is in the process of adding another.
To build Wildflower Park and renovate Silver Palm Boat Docks has jumped a whopping $3 million. The new price tag has city council members scrambling to cut the ballooning budget.
"On this piece of waterfront property in downtown Boca Raton, should we have a park or a restaurant? That was the biggest issue of the day," City Councilmember Andy Thomson said.
The city's Wildflower-Sliver Palm Park is in full swing. Construction of a sea wall has already begun.
But there's a snag. Thomson said the budget has gone from $7-$8 million to $10 million, saying the pandemic's raised prices for contractors, but now he worries the overall cost is too much.
"The $7 million budget, which was accurate at the time we had come up with it, unfortunately changes as a product of the circumstances," he said.
Council members met Monday, looking to trim those costs -- everything from seating and lighting to the number of trash cans has been considered.
But not everyone disapproves of the cost. Miles Rich said he's ok with it, hoping the park provides its own value.
"I think it's a great thing," he said. "I think my tax dollars will be put to work. I think it's a long-needed and long-awaited project."
Veronica Adorisio worries that it's wasteful spending.
"I don't think it's a smart thing, because $10 million is a lot of money," she said. "The country is in crisis right now and there are other priorities."
Thomson said the last park developed by the city is the 14-acre Hillsboro El Rio at a cost of $7.8 million.