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story.lead_photo.caption This artist rendering shows the proposed entrance to Community Park. The $1.46 million park renovation project includes new playground equipment and the addition of a sprayground.

Due to a surprising hefty price tag, the Jefferson City Parks and Recreation Commission voted against purchasing colorful LED lights for the splash pad at Community Park.

Last month, commissioners voted to move forward with purchasing colorful LED lights that would be installed to 22 nozzles at the splash pad at Community Park, 725 Marshall St. However, the commission decided Tuesday not to pursue the lights due to the unexpected high price tag.

Commissioners originally thought the LED lights would cost about $60,000. However, city staff presented a change order for the lights that was $183,428, which included equipment purchases, design work and installation, according to the change order.

If the commissioners had approved the change order, Assistant Parks Director JJ Gates said, the Community Park project would be about $40,000 over budget.

In April, the commission approved more than $1.46 million construction contract with Sircal Contracting for improvements at Community Park. The improvements include a sprayground, playground equipment and structures, retaining walls, stormwater and sanitary sewer systems, installation of furnishings, paving and surfacing, among other items.

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Community Park construction completion is estimated for December, Gates said last month. If the commission had approved the lights, Gates previously said, it would have delayed the project's completion.

"This was my fear that we're going to light it up and instead of $60,000, $100,000, now we're pushing $200,000 and still delaying the project, which is my problem," commissioner Lindsey Rowden said.

Last month, Rowden and commissioner Bob Weber voted against moving forward with the LED lights.

Several other commissioners said Tuesday they did not feel comfortable with spending $183,428 on the colorful LED lights.

Commissioner Andre Grinston voted against abandoning the LED lights. While the cost was higher than the commission thought, he said, he wanted to see if there was a way to still get the lights but remain under budget.

The splash park will include overhead lighting, Gates said.

Community Park was listed as the commission's first priority from the parks master plan, while McClung and Ellis-Porter Riverside parks are its second and third priorities.

The master plan outlines parks improvements over the next two decades.

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