Ashland Parks and Rec addresses $325 thousand Japanese Garden cost overrun

ASHLAND, Ore. – Ashland Parks and Recreation is focusing on addressing fund management after it was revealed the Japanese Gardens in Lithia Park went more than $300 thousand over budget.

Originally budgeted for $1.3 million, the city says the Japanese Gardens dealt with many challenges during construction.

Between inflation, rising labor and shipping costs, and the strains the pandemic put on the community, the final project ended up $325 thousand over the funded amount.

Parks and Recreation interim director Leslie Eldridge says this experience will help shape how situations are handled in the future.

“It’s a really good lesson to be incredibly conservative in budget planning moving forward,” Eldridge said.  “To move methodically and systematically through projects.”

Eldridge says the $325 thousand will be pulled from capital improvement project funds.

This will impact repairs and improvements to all Ashland parks in the future.

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Taylar Ansures is a producer and reporter for NBC5 News. Taylar is from Redding, California and went to California State University, Chico. After graduating, she joined KRCR News Channel 7 in Redding as a morning producer. She moved to Southern Oregon in 2022 to be closer to family and became KTVL News 10’s digital producer. Taylar is currently finishing her Master's Degree in Professional Creative Writing through the University of Denver. In her free time, Taylar frequents independent bookstores and explores hiking trails across Southern Oregon and Northern California.
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