A plan to put a rain cover over part of Town Square is facing an $89,000 funding shortfall, according to Bainbridge Island city officials.
During the 2019-2020 budget process, the city council earmarked $65,000 for a cover for Town Square, which sits between city hall and Bainbridge Performing Arts and is used for the island’s farmers market.
Since the initial go-head from the council, city officials have been looking at different ways to put a partial cover over Town Square, over the paved portion of the plaza where a metal framework structure that holds banners and flags now stands.
According to a memo to the council from Mark Epstein, the city’s engineering projects manager, the existing metal structure isn’t strong enough to support a cover, and was designed to hold 2-by-3-foot banners.
City officials researched an array of possible covers for the center of the plaza, including fabric canopies, tents, metal canopies, retractable shades and glass covers.
Putting a cover over part of Town Square, officials said, is supported by the managers of the Bainbridge Island Farmers Market because it would provide protection from the rain to visitors to the market during the rainy season.
The Bainbridge council will get an update on the proposal at its meeting this week.
City officials are recommending that the council approve a manufactured, motor-operated retractable shade structure that is supported by wood or metal poles.
Officials said a retractable canopy would be mean the least risk, the lowest cost, and least maintenance, while also being the most versatile of the alternatives examined.
A preliminary estimate for a shade structure that would also provide protection from the rain is estimated to cost $50 per square foot; the area to be covered in the Town Square plaza is 18 feet by 80 feet.
The company that offered the quote, ShadeFX, said the preliminary cost of the canopy alone would be $72,000.
The overall estimate for the project is $170,000, which includes $22,000 for demolition and site work, $20,000 for electrical upgrades, and $28,000 for structural supports for the canopy. The estimate also includes a 20 percent planning contingency of $28,000.
The city said it has $65,000 in capital funds available for the project, plus $16,000 in operating funds, for a total of $81,000.
The council meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3 at city hall.