Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - The Rochester Park Board Thursday approved a recommendation to award the construction contract for the Rec Center/Senior Center project to Kraus-Anderson - and to increase the overall budget by $1 million.

If approved by the City Council, the project’s overall budget will rise to $23.7 million. That is still far below the initial estimated cost of $33 million. The cost was later cut to $26 million but the state legislature lowered it even more, to $20 million. The City Council increased the budget to $22.3 million and a local swim club contributed $400,000.

The board was told the Kraus-Anderson construction bid came in $2.7 million above budget. The company, city officials and engineering consultants then spent the last 30 days finding ways to lower costs without affecting the overall project. They were able to cut $1.3 million but because of the proposed contingency portion of the project, the Park Board was told there is still a shortage of $1 million.

The Park Board recommends the extra money come from a city fund for capital projects. The remainder is from the city’s sales tax.

The recommendation will be discussed by the City Council at its Monday committee meeting and is expected to be scheduled for a vote at its regular evening session.

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