Lions Park budget revealed as works commence
by DAVID HOGG
6th July 2020
FOLLOWING our coverage last month of the Lions Park development, the Diary has now received detailed explanation from Angelo Kourambas, Director City Planning and Community, Manningham Council, on our requests for clarification.
Stage One of the Lions Park upgrade in the Warrandyte River Reserve includes construction of a new car park and new pedestrian paths, along with ramps and stairs, an upgrade of the existing shelter area and construction of a new picnic shelter area with a barbecue, drinking fountain and picnic table.
This stage will also include water sensitive urban design treatment garden beds, new open picnic and grassed areas, an animal rope crossing bridge over the road and the installation of new exercise equipment.
Budget and timing
During 2019/20, Manningham Council has completed the detailed design, soil and geotechnical testing and a cultural heritage management plan for Stage One of the upgrade to Lions Park.
While Council initially hoped works would commence earlier in April 2020, this was delayed to June following an extended tender process.
As part of Council’s planning for this project and following initial works estimates, $410,000 was allocated in Council’s 2019/20 budget for the construction of Stage One with remaining funding to be allocated in 2020/21.
Following the detailed design and tender process, it was determined that the initial estimates for the construction of Stage One were under-priced according to current market values and the construction costs for this project were revalued.
Funding of $625,000 has been allocated in Council’s draft 2020/21 Annual Budget for the completion of Stage One, bringing the total funding allocated for Stage One to $1.035 million.
As we go to press, Council has finally released the minutes of the closed May meeting to decide the tender, and we can now see that JMAC Constructions Pty Ltd has now been awarded the contract for the Stage One works at a cost of $1.1M.
The minutes also reveal that the total cost of Stage One is $1.324M after including income from other sources.
The Lions Club of Warrandyte initially approached Council to offer a contribution for exercise equipment in Warrandyte.
After careful review and consideration, Lions Park was chosen as the location and was approved as part of the endorsed masterplan.
Whilst an initial quotation for fitness equipment, in the region of $15,000, was obtained by the Lions Club, Council advise that it unfortunately did not meet or comply with safety standards; therefore alternative equipment has been sourced, as there are a range of safety standards and requirements for outdoor fitness equipment installed in open space areas.
The total cost of the exercise equipment including supply, installation and rubber surfacing is $52,000, of which $45,000 will be funded by the Lions Club and the remaining amount will be funded by Council.
Concern has been expressed in the community regarding the loss of the tennis courts, in that the static fitness equipment is not really a substitute for the courts in terms of provision for active facilities for the community.
It has been suggested that some sort of social sporting facility such as perhaps a bocce or petanque pitch is needed at this part of town.
Mr. Kourambas advises that the endorsed masterplan for Lions Park also includes open space areas suitable for outdoor exercise and has been designed following community consultation.
Whilst Council has not received any requests for bocce or petanque pitches or similar, this could be considered in the future.
The masterplan for Lions Park has a total of six barbecue burners across the space that are complemented by picnic facilities.
As part of Stage One of the upgrade, the existing shelter area will include a new accessible and Disability Discrimination Act compliant two burner barbecue and picnic facilities.
We are told that as well as retaining the existing shelter it is intended to repurpose parts of the existing four burner barbecue currently in this space.
We believe the intention is to reuse the surround bricks, which are engraved with the names of donors to the original bicentennial project, in the immediate area.
Stage Two budget and timing
Stage Two of the Lions Park upgrade will include the playspace as well as an additional shelter, barbecue and picnic facilities.
Funded separately in 2021/22, Council has provisionally allocated $700,000 in its four-year capital works program for Stage Two of the Lions Park upgrade.
This allocation will be reviewed and reassessed once the final detailed design is developed.