Some much-needed improvements at Horseshoe Bend has potentially thrown a wrench in the City of Page’s budget.
About a year ago the city hired a designer to give them an estimate for expanding and paving the parking lot at Horseshoe Bend. The firm estimated it would cost around $1.6 million. But now that the city is ready to move forward with the design the design firm has revised their estimate to just over $2 million dollars, which has potentially left the city in a financial bind.
This information was presented to the public during last week’s special council meeting during which then-city manager Crystal Dyches presented to council the recommended budget for fiscal year 2018/19.
To cover the $400,000 deficit for the Horseshoe Bend parking lot the city may have to reduce funding from its capital improvements projects and possibly from some of its departments including law enforcement, fire, public works and community development. Community development may have as much as $177,000 slashed from its budget, and public works may have as much as $300,000 removed from its budget which had been earmarked for road repair scheduled to begin this summer.
Mayor Bill Diak told the Chronicle Tuesday that several of this year’s scheduled street repairs will still proceed as planned.
Council has not yet approved the budget. The city is reviewing the budget and will present a revised preliminary budget on June 27 and make the final adoption on July 11.
“Page’s streets is the city’s number one priority,” said Diak.
As part of the city’s master plan they have a schedule to fix the city’s streets over the next ten years.
“Fixing roads is so expensive,” said Diak. “It’s not something that can be done in one year, two years or even five years, but we have a plan to get them done over the next ten years.”
Diak said the city will first take care of its main street, then its feeder streets and then its ancillary or neighborhood streets.
Even though the city considers streets its first priority they feel compelled to take care of the Horseshoe Bend parking lot first before costs climb even higher, costing the city even more money.
The reason behind the huge cost increase to finish the parking lot at Horseshoe Bend is due in part to the booming economy, said Diak.
“Last year when we first asked for estimates there were several companies that needed work, but with this year’s booming economy many of them have found work and that has driven the cost upward,” said Diak. “We want to jump on this now before the price goes up even more next year. Horseshoe Bend is an extreme priority for safety reasons.”