The Tacoma City Council unanimously signed off Tuesday evening on an $821,000 increase to the construction contract for renovations to Cheney Stadium.
Council members weren’t told until June about the extra costs authorized months earlier by city staff members.
Councilman Jake Fey complained about being kept in the dark but said the costs have already been incurred and that the city must pay contractor Mortenson Construction.
Fey, echoed by other council members, said this week he had thought the contractor would provide some ballpark features like a new seating canopy, entrance and viewing berm at no extra cost, in exchange for a time extension of the project. Not everyone thought so — Councilman Joe Lonergan says he never interpreted the add-ons as being free.
Public Works Director Dick McKinley told the council Tuesday that staff should have been more clear about the cost of the extra features.
Mayor Marilyn Strickland said everyone should look at the big picture. While the costs raise the construction contract above $27 million, the total project is still on track to come in under the $30 million bond issue.
“Our lease agreement with the Rainiers was to spend $30 million to renovate Cheney Stadium,” she said, “and we’re doing just that.”