PALM HARBOR – The addition of new parking at Palm Harbor Library has been delayed after a miscommunication regarding costs and design.
Library director Gene Coppola said he originally thought the project would bring 18 to 20 more parking spaces to the library. The library hired AVID Group to design the expansion, and a representative from the company “verbally gave us a ballpark figure of $30,000 for about 18 to 20 parking spaces,” Coppola told the Palm Harbor Community Services Agency board, which oversees the library, on May 15. The library signed a contract for about 24 spaces.
The Palm Harbor Library Endowment Foundation was to pay the estimated $30,000 for the expansion.
During the design process, the AVID representative told Coppola the company could expand the scope of the project to 27 parking spaces. The representative didn’t say the extra spaces would increase the cost of the project and Coppola said he made the mistake of assuming the extra spaces came with the same price tag.
The plans were completed and approved at the county level. Three Palm Harbor-based construction companies were contacted and two have returned bids for the project: at $72,000 and 112,000.
“So I said, ‘What’s going on here?’ Because it was exceeding more than what we were told,” Coppola said.
The extra parking spaces meant more trees had to be removed and replanted, and the project also needed more landscaping, both of which contributed to the increased costs.
“The foundation doesn’t have the money for that,” Coppola said.
The foundation did agree to a $30,000 maximum cost of the project.
After discussing it, AVID Group agreed to redo the design with the original number of spaces in mind.
The project will have to be rebid before construction begins.