Friday, March 31, 2023

Splash Pad Plans Dry Up Temporarily Due to High Construction Costs

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor

Plans for Oxford’s future splash pad took a dive Tuesday when the Oxford Board of Aldermen voted to reject the bids for the project that came in double what the city planned to spend.

The city received two bids for the project with the lowest coming in at $380,000.

The Board had previously budgeted $175,000 for the project.

The Oxford Park Commission Board voted earlier Tuesday to reject the bids as well.

‘We will work with OPC to determine to if we need to redesign or if we need to amend the budget to proceed with the splash pad in the summer of 2022-2023,” said Special Project Director Mark Levy.

By law, the city cannot accept bids that are more than what was budgeted. The Board could not just vote to accept the low bid and then amend their budget. They need to revisit the project, amend the budget and then re-advertise for bids.

The conceptual plan for the splash pad included a 2,100-square foot play area with at least 20 water components. Amenities such as shade structures, benches and landscaping are also included.

Whenever it is finally built, the splash pad will be located at the Oxford Skate Park, between the playground and the Skipwith Cottage.

“This is not us canceling this project forever,” said Mayor Robyn Tannehill. “I know the splash pad is something that is important to OPC and to this board so we will try to find a way to move forward in the future.”