The Dunwoody City Council approved an additional $215,000 to Brook Run Park’s capital budget at its Nov. 18 meeting after the contractor Reeves Young said it has experienced unexpected costs. The increase bumps the total budget to nearly $7.8 million.
Reeves Young was also recently cited by the state Environmental Protection Division for several issues including not maintaining silt fences to keep construction pollutants out of a stream in the park. But no environmental damage was reported, according to the agency.
Reeves Young is heading up the construction of two new athletic fields at Brook Run Park as well as a new great lawn area, an amphitheater, a pavilion and other new amenities. The council last year approved a nearly $7.6 million “guaranteed maximum budget” for the projects that was to ensure no unexpected costs in 2019.
Officials told the council that the extra costs requiring the budget amendment are largely due to crews hitting tons of concrete foundation from the demolished former hospital campus once located at the back of the park. The hospital served people with disabilities and was closed in 1997 before DeKalb County tore the building down in 2007.
The $215,000 includes a $66,000 contingency. The money is needed to cover removal costs of the concrete, footers, grade beams, slabs and pilings, according to Eric Johnson, president of Comprehensive Program Services. The city hired CPS as project manager.
Council members asked where the $215,000 will come from to cover the extra costs. “I was wondering that,” Finance Director Linda Nabors said from her seat in the audience at the meeting.
Assistant City Manager Jay Vinicki jumped up to say the city has money in other capital projects to pull from to cover the $215,000 and would present the information at the council’s next meeting.
Crews hit the tons of buried hospital foundation in June when excavation began on the athletic fields. At that time, city officials said there would be no budget overrun because removal costs would be covered by the city’s $99,000 contingency fund included in the original $7.6 million budget.
The city recently issued a one-day stop work order against Reeves Young after the contractor was cited by the state Environmental Protection Division for not maintaining required silt fencing to keep pollution out of the Nancy Creek tributary in the park while constructing the athletic fields.
Other deficiencies the EPD noted included Reeves Young not keeping proper paperwork such as required sample testing. City officials say all repairs have been made and proper paperwork filed.
They also said no sediment entered the stream.
“A stop work order was issued and the contractor was informed of violations, including paperwork reporting deficiencies,” said Rich Edinger, a city engineer, in an email.
“The contractor performed this maintenance and corrected the paperwork problems within the time frames prescribed by the city’s code,” he said. “At no time did any sediment move into state waters.”
The EPD conducted an evaluation of the Brook Run Park construction site on Oct. 23 after receiving a citizen complaint. According to the EPD’s report, no sediment entered the state creek in the park and there were no state violations.
Sediment, such as rocks and minerals, around construction sites can include pesticides and other pollutants that can harm the land and the wildlife if dumped into natural streams.
Edinger said the city appreciates the EPD’s “oversight and participation in assisting the city and addressing citizen concerns.”
The City Council earlier this year approved a controversial variance allowing the city’s contractors to encroach into the city’s 75-foot stream buffer to build retaining walls for the athletic fields.