Metro East park costing city millions, aldermen say they don't know exact total

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by Matt Sczesny / KMOV.com

KMOV.com

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 18 at 6:25 PM

Update:

The city of Belleville has approved an extra $140,000 for developers to clear muck and debris from the future site of Kimball plaza at Bicentennial Park.

The city says they will use funds from another road project to cover the cost of the unexpected expenditure.

BELLEVILLE, Il (KMOV.com) -- A new Belleville park is giving some in the city a sinking feeling. Mud and muck on the site is now driving up the cost and no one seems to know how much the bill is going to run.

It is a literal money pit.  Mud and water started bubbling up as the city began digging on a new park and that is now raising the cost dramatically.

Now the contractor is looking for more money and the city has to decide whether to keep going.  

It seems no one in Belleville City Hall saw this coming, and now the grand plans for a new park will end up costing the city more money and the worst part is, no one seems to know how much.

“What they found is muck, which is considered quick sand, and that can be serious and cost more money,” said Belleville Alderman Lillian Schneider.

More money for a park that has already cost Belleville around $2 million by some estimates.

Now, clearing out the muck for a new Kimball Plaza is turning out to be no easy fix.

“The point the city is in right now, we’re not where we are really rich, we just raised the sales tax and we are getting extra money,” Schneider said. When asked how much money the project would cost, the Alderman said she didn’t have an answer. “We don’t know,” she said.

Aldermen would have to approve any new money to fix the issue, but Schneider says they’re being left in the dark by the mayor, even as work at the site continues.

News 4 tried to see Mayor Eckert, but he wasn’t available. Not surprisingly, one alderman who’s running for mayor was available.

“I don’t believe he’s trying to hide anything as much as I think he fails to understand proper leadership is to communicate with every alderman whether it’s his party or not,” said Alderman Joseph Hayden

Even now the agenda for Monday’s meeting still only says ‘approve extra work.’  Some aldermen say they probably won’t find out what this may cost until the meeting starts. 

 

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