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Discussion on city park to continue in January


In a work session Tuesday, the Fredericksburg City Council continued its discussion about awarding a contract for the design of  Riverfront Park.

The discussion began at the council’s last meeting, when there was an item on the agenda to award the $99,656 contract for design services to the firm Rhodeside and Harwell, based in Alexandria.

The item was tabled when several council members said they had more questions about the project before moving forward.

Some of those questions were addressed Tuesday night.

Council member Bea Paolucci, who had many questions about the project, wanted to know how issues such as riverbank stabilization,  the Chesapeake Bay Act and  the soil, among other things, would be addressed in relation to the project.

Bill Downey, of the Downey & Scott construction firm that works with the city, tried to answer some of the questions.

He said that the contract includes working on the issues that were mentioned.

“A lot of the answers will be answered at the conclusion of the initial concept level of this master plan,” he said.

He explained that the firm  the city chooses to hire will employ its own multi-disciplinary team that will include civil engineers.

Council member Brad Ellis said he would be in favor of moving forward with the project, but doesn’t want to see the design “sit on the shelf.”

He also said  the city should commit to other projects, such as building a parking garage within the next two years, if the park is going to be built.

Part of the contract, Downey explained, would include estimates of what it would cost to complete and execute.

Council member Fred Howe expressed concerns over what the park would cost the city and whether there would need to be a tax increase for the project.

Council member Matt Kelly had a lot of questions about the process and how the city got to the point where it was ready to award a contract for design.

The council will discuss Riverfront Park again at its Jan. 8 regular meeting.

 Completing the design of the park is one of the council’s top initiatives for the next two years.

Robyn Sidersky:  540/374-5413