KITCHENER -- Waterloo councillors voted to approve additional funding for upgrades to Waterloo Park.

In a meeting on Monday night, councillors approved nearly $4 million for the North Silver Lake Shoreline after construction bids came in over budget.

The original budget for landscaping the park was set in 2018 for around $3 million, but that price tag has now jumped to $6.7 million.

In a report sent to council, city staff say the added costs are due to extra design amenities, including custom fountain-related mechanical and structural elements and upgrades to electrical infrastructure, as well inflation.

“Just seeing a lot of increase market pricing, partially related to COVID and partially related to other sort of natural market forces in inflation,” Dan Diraranto, the city’s manager of design and construction said. “In certain industries especially, such as concrete and architectural concrete, there’s been a supply and demand issue there."

Despite the additional costs, the city said it’s still saving $4.7 million compared to its original estimate.

In 2019, the city sent the project out as one tender, and was quoted $18 million.  The city then  divided the project into three separate contracts - Silver Lake, Laurel Creek and the park. The entire cost for the project is now $13.5 million.

Previously approved work to reconstruct and dredge portions of the Laurel Creek and Silver Lake is set to be completed in May.

Future work in Waterloo Park will include pathways, focal fountain features, a beach area, seating areas and improved lighting.

The overall project is expected to be completed this fall.

“I think folks are really going to love the outcome here,” Diraranto said.