Final costs for project total $61,000

A city-funded outdoor dining project ended up costing Woodstock over 20 percent more than estimated.

Final expenses for the Benton Street Boardwalk totaled $61,115.52, according to Paul Christensen, Woodstock’s finance director. The estimate for the project was $50,000.

“There was some modification to the project once started so that the final product would meet certain attractive qualities,” Christensen wrote in an email. Among other things, the boardwalk’s railings were upgraded, he said.

The boardwalk, made up of four wooden platforms, is located along the west side of Benton Street just north of Judd Street. It is used by four restaurants along that street — Mia Passione, D.C. Cobb’s, Benton Street Tap and Main Street PourHouse — to offer al fresco table service to customers. It opened July 17.

When the Benton Street Boardwalk was approved in June, the City Council set an expenditure limit of no more than $50,000 — the same as the estimate. City Manager Roscoe Stelford said the extra cost may need to be approved retroactively by the council.

“That estimate was put together for council before we actually had costs, and so it’s part of the process,” Stelford said. “We made some selections based on longevity so we would get greater value from it. We also approached this as a project that was supposed to be an aesthetic improvement to an area.”

Public funding for the project has been a source of contention. Some residents, along with City Councilman Jim Prindiville, have criticized the use of money from the city’s Tax Increment Financing District to build the boardwalk.

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