Plans for Northwest Park are over budget and behind schedule.
The park, off of Parkside Valley Drive near the Breckenridge neighborhood, is now estimated to cost more than $1 million.
Town officials originally thought the park would cost about $800,000. They have $350,000 set aside.
“Project estimates for this site have gone up and down as we’ve talked about it,” said Jerry Allen, the town’s parks and recreation director.
During a presentation at a Morrisville Town Council meeting on Tuesday, Allen said the 25 percent cost increase is due to two main factors: additional landscaping, and soil stabilization – a term for chemical treatments that strengthen the ground to let it support heavier objects.
Allen said he hopes to offset some of the costs with grants.
The timeline for the park has also been pushed back several months.
During his campaign to unseat incumbent Jackie Holcombe last fall, Mayor Mark Stohlman said he would make sure construction started within a year if elected.
Construction now isn’t expected to begin until April, and the park could open by late 2015.
The town had to re-submit some park plans to Cary and the state earlier this month for further review.
That process will take 60 to 90 days, Allen said, so Morrisville officials will likely have to wait until December to approve construction plans.
After that, the town must put the project out to bid, approve funding and write up a contract.
Councilman Michael Schlink, who represents the part of town where the park site is located, thanked Allen for being transparent with the bad news. He said at least the town’s leaders and residents are being kept up to speed on the reasons for the delays.
“If we’re slipping on these time frames, (but) if we’re conveying that to the public, they won’t have a problem,” Schlink said. “Or at least I wouldn’t have a problem.”
Stohlman said he was happy just to see the project advancing.
Morrisville leaders have talked about plans for a park since 2007, when the town took over the site.
In 2008, work was put on hold to wait for a nearby town of Cary project.
In 2012, Cary canceled that project, but work on Northwest Park was put on hold again as Morrisville shifted focus to the Church Street Park.
But during last year’s election, Stohlman moved the Northwest Park idea back to the forefront of conversation. He said he’s glad to finally have consistent updates on progress.
“It’s very exciting,” Stohlman said. “And we look forward to the next meeting.”