Sunday, March 3

Commissioners approve $28 million park expansion west of Boynton despite budget shortfall

Palm Beach County Commissioners on Tuesday took up the first big-ticket item since learning of a $700 million budget shortfall.

Commissioners were asked to approve Phase Two of the expansion of Canyon District Park, which will add baseball fields, tennis courts and a playground for kids with special needs to the park, at a cost of $28 million.

“Everybodys very excited,” real estate agent Michael Conte said of the proposed canyon expansion that will draw families to move to the west Boynton Beach area.

“As a parent if you travel around doing sport its a lot easier when it’s local and nearby, and theres quality fields for the kids to play on.”

But county commissioners have to take a new look at these projects.

According to the countys own numbers, the cost of expanding Canyon District Park nearly doubled from $15 million at a time when the countys budget shortfall is at $700 million.

It is a lot of money, County Mayor Maria Sachs. said. But more than that, what it effects in terms of the projects.

Commissioners will have to take a look at projects like bridge repair, new buildings and a few other expensive ones.

Sachs said county staffers blame the increased cost of Canyon District Park on inflation and supply chain issues.

But despite looming red ink, commissioners voted to allow at least a start of the expansion project.

We will get it done, the mayor said. And we will get it done the right way.

A lot of the people who moved into the area, moved in here with the expectation that the park and the school would be completed, Conte said.

The commissioners’ approval means the county will go ahead and get all the permits and building fees.

The timing of what parts of the park get built in what order has not been determined.

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