Construction is progressing on RiverEdge Park in Aurora, and even after spending $12,442,363, the city says it has money to spare.
The construction budget for the park, designed to be the centerpiece of downtown redevelopment efforts, stands at $13,296,420, which includes $13 million in grants.
So after the city council this week approved a package of bids for the park's sound system, lighting, theater rigging, landscaping and security, $854,057 remains.
The city plans to use it.
"Obviously we want to spend all of the grant money," Stephane Phifer, Aurora's planning and zoning director, said while discussing the recently approved bids with aldermen. "We don't want to leave any of the state money on the table."
Another group of bids to be sought this summer will look to spend the remaining grant funds, she said.
Another $2 million from the Forest Preserve District of Kane County has been promised, but is set aside specifically for a pedestrian bridge to connect the east and west banks of the Fox River. Bids have not yet been sought for the bridge.
The city has extra money because bids for previous phases of park construction have cost about 10 to 15 percent less than expected.
"We have come in under budget with all of the bid packages," Phifer said. "We did get really good prices compared to what our estimates are."
The first phase of work cost $1.2 million for restoration of Blues Island and adjacent Fox River shorelines and grading of the site of the Music Garden east of the river.
The second phase has been the most expensive, coming in at $9.7 million for a theater building, stage, concessions area, restrooms and a sound tower -- all the major elements of the park's Music Garden.
A total of $266,694 paid for the third group of bids, purchasing two types of concrete, architectural fabrics, aluminum and glazing for the music venue building.
The last package of bids -- approved this week -- cost $1.1 million.
The $13,296,420 million now budgeted for RiverEdge Park construction is more than the $12,744,618 originally budgeted. The $13.2 million includes a contingency fund for certain expenses incurred by the park's construction manager, R.C. Wegman Construction Company of Aurora.
The firm receives 9.85 percent of the cost of building the park under a contract the city approved last May, which means it has earned $1,225,572 for the $12,442,363 spent so far.
The city has until Feb. 28, 2013 to complete park construction, and officials have said it is expected to be finished by October.