Critics and City Manager still disagree
TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) – Critics fighting a plan to expand the Reid Park Zoo are also fighting the city director’s recommendation for an alternative plan.
Critics say when voters approved a sales tax increase to pay for the zoo’s expansion, the city did not say the zoo would take one of the ponds, hill, and trees nearby.
The city says it gave a lot of notice. Despite this, the mayor and council halted construction to find other options.
After the results of a public inquiry, City Manager Mike Ortega recommends sparing the pond but expanding into another part of the park. This is called Plan D. You can read the City Manager’s report and recommendation at this link.
The Save the Heart of Reid Park group claims that Plan D still occupies precious green space. They want a revised G plan that would expand the zoo into a parking lot, storage area, and land occupied by a therapeutic recreation center.
The city manager says Plan D would cost $ 3.6 million while Plan G would cost between $ 15 and $ 25 million.
Critics say the city manager left costs out of estimate for Plan D and inflated costs for Plan G to eliminate G from contention. They argue that the revisions may cause both plans to cost around 10 million euros.
Margo Garcia of Save the Heart of Reid Park says, “One of the biggest costs they invested in G was parking. And if you track the costs of the garages, it’s about $ 30,000 per parking space for a built garage, 10,000 for surface parking. And so if you remove this parking lot. This would result in a reduction of about $ 300,000 to $ 400,000 on G at the start. “
Ward Six Council member Steve Kozachik wants to stick to the original construction contract (Plan B) or a plan he proposed (Plan C) that keeps the original work and creates a new pond. He says that if the city cancels the existing construction contract, the city will struggle to do other work in the years to come.
He said, “Why would someone bid on a project?” If the city takes the position that, “Hey, we reserve the right to change our mind in three years.” Why would you do our job? Entrepreneurs have told me that they will no longer bid for jobs in the city if we change that.
The city council must decide what to do during a study session on May 5.