EDMOND — City council members have approved spending nearly $5.2 million for new adult softball fields, more than originally budgeted.
The unanimous vote came with little discussion. Members of the Capital Projects and Financing Task Force had declined to recommend spending $1.6 million more than budgeted.
The four-field complex is in Edmond's fourth community park being created on the northeast corner of Post Road and State Highway 66.
Assistant City Manager Steve Commons said an increase in sales tax revenues and $1.2 million more than anticipated from bond refinancing gives the city enough money to move forward with the project.
Council members had budgeted $4.2 million for the complex. The fund has $3.6 million remaining after $600,000 was spent on design work that was delayed nearly six months.
Part of the problem is that $4.2 million originally was budgeted for the project a number of years ago, and the amount was never increased as time went by, Commons said.
“There needs to be some type of evaluation process for these projects,” he said.
Since the money was budgeted, city officials decided to build a new community park which cost more because of the infrastructure that needed to be built, he said.
The complex is being built with sales tax money approved by voters in 2000 to spend on capital improvement projects. The softball complex was one of the reasons for the tax increase.
The new community park has been named Edmond Route 66 Park. The design for the new park has a Route 66 theme because of its location near State Highway 66 and Pops restaurant.
The softball project started with renovation of the old fields at Bickham Softball Complex on Midwest Boulevard between Danforth and Covell roads.
Original plans were to build eight new fields, but there is only enough money to construct four fields at this time.