The cost to construct an urban fishing pond at the Carson City Fairgrounds more than doubled when a soil inspection showed the area is wetter than expected.
Construction was expected to cost $440,000. Contractors' bids, however, point to a cost closer to $950,000.
"We need to make a decision," Vern Krahn, the city's parks planner, told the supervisors during their meeting Thursday.
While soil and watershed conditions at the fairgrounds make the site a better choice than the alternative Ross Gold Park, some of those same conditions will make the project more costly to build because the earth is more silty than expected.
While the water ultimately will be good for the pond because it will keep recirculating and be healthier for fish and other habitat, the fine and watery earth won't be easy to move around to create the pond, Krahn said.
"It's a double-edged sword," he said.
The soil was examined before the bidding process commenced. The dewatering of the earth - so it's more movable and easier for the contractor to work with - could cost more than $300,000.
The low bid is just below $100,000, Krahn said.
The Nevada Department of Wildlife gave the city $350,000 for the pond.
The city only has until the end of the year to obtain an extension on the project or more money from the state. The plan could be modified. It's envisioned now as a one-acre, 15-foot-deep pond with a pier allowing handicapped access.
"If it takes a little longer, it'll still be worth it," said Kevin Baily, original proponent of the pond. "It'll still be a blue jewel."
City officials - and Baily - will continue looking at additional money sources.
Other local groups, including the Ormsby Sportsmen's Association, have joined in on trying to obtain more money for the project, Krahn said.
The city also will look for ways to potentially cut costs.
"You've got work to do," Mayor Marv Teixeira told Krahn.
• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.