Facing a multimillion-dollar budget shortfall, Williamson County officials restructured the scope of two parks projects in order to shore up budget problems.

Williamson County commissioners voted June 29 to approve cuts from the scope of work on projects at Berry Springs Park and Champion Park. The projects are funded through Williamson County’s voter-approved $447 million 2019 roads and parks bond.

At Berry Springs Park, located in northeast Georgetown, the county will cut a proposed RV camping site and a new visitors center from the project list. These cuts save the county $1.61 million from the project cost, per county documents.

The county will cut a parking lot expansion at Champion Park to get under budget, according to backup documents. The expansion would have added an additional 30 parking spaces at the public space in Cedar Park. That cut, along with a removal of funding for rehabilitation of existing lights at the park, will save the county $232,000 in the project’s budget.

“We’ve reduced the scope as much as possible to make them viable projects,” said Russell Fishbeck, parks director for Williamson County.

According to county documents, construction of those parks projects at the original scope would have put the budget over by $2.36 million due to “extreme and unusual market conditions that have increased the cost of construction supplies and materials.”

With the cuts approved by commissioners June 29, the budget for the improvements at Berry Springs Park and Champion Park still remains $389,794 over budget, county documents show.

A third project—restroom improvements at Southwest Williamson County Regional Park in Leander—is expected to go $124,000 over budget.

In all, the county expects a $513,794 shortfall from the three projects after the scope adjustments.

All three projects are in the planning and design phase, Fishbeck told commissioners.

“We feel these are beneficial to the users of these facilities, and in the end we’d still have very good amenities for our visitors,” Fishbeck said.