New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | February 26, 2021

Stormwater issues at Pine Fork Park results in $111,000 appropriation to address

By Andre Jones | January 27, 2021 10:03 am

Unexpected costs and design flaws in Pine Fork Park has resulted in a financial headache for New Kent County. Unfortunately, the headache will require a $111,000 visit to the Capital Improvement Funds.

New Kent’s Board of Supervisors appropriated the funds to address environmental issues during Wednesday morning’s work session.

After breaking ground in 2019, the $4.5 million project has been in the first phase for completion. While a majority of the contract work is complete, unexpected issues that deal with stormwater management has resulted in a financial setback.

In October 2020, county leaders approved $325,591.11 to address the stormwater and environment issues for the park. However, an estimate returned to County Administrator Rodney Hathaway returned a shortfall of $111,553 to complete the project.

District 1 supervisor and board chairman Thomas Evelyn was not pleased with the issues that came about because of the design flaws.

“All of these things are design issues and it’s going to come down on the board and the taxpayers of the county,” he commented. “I think if we even took it to the courts, we wouldn’t get anywhere.”

Director of New Kent Parks and Recreation Kim Turner chimed in that the fixes to the stormwater issues would still need to be corrected as required by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Hathaway added that if the situation wasn’t address immediately, the county would incur fines.

Board members reviewed the additional requests and plans, questioning on a storage facility scheduled to be constructed at a price of $150,000, as well of why several equipment for fields (ex. Batting cages, bases) weren’t addressed. Turner and assistant director of parks and recreation Jason Baldwin said that original plans called for the items to be addressed separately and brought back to the board as their department was requested by previous supervisors to keep the project under a certain price.

Hathaway said that the stormwater issues handicap the project and is the reason he’s recommending the additional funding.

“The issues with the stormwater, the wells, and a lot of other changes essentially ate into our $400,000 in contingency we had built in this project,” the county administrator concluded.

At the motion of District 3 representative Patricia Paige, supervisors unanimously approved appropriating $111,553 from the Capital Improvement Funds to address the environmental issues. An additional $15,000 was designated to address raising the grade and drainage issues at the proposed concession stand slated to be constructed.