CALLAWAY, Fla. (WMBB) —John B. Gore Park in Callaway was one of Hurricane Michael’s many victims. Callaway city officials are spending $5 million to rebuild it.

Construction on John B. Gore Park began in May 2022 and was supposed to take a year.
But when May 2023 rolled around, there was more work to be done.

Callaway city officials say the contractor did an unsatisfactory job and they now have to pick up where the contractor left off.

“It’s going to be an issue of us doing all the work that should have been done that we spent $5 million on a project we paid and have worked on. Now we must go back and undo the work. And I just think that’s pathetic,” said Callaway City Commissioner Bob Pelletier.

One of the main hold-ups has been park lighting.

“They didn’t have the power that they needed which is because materials that Florida power and light couldn’t get so they could install them. And then it made it more difficult for the irrigation system to run,” said Callaway Mayor Pamn Henderson.

The other involves landscaping.

A water pipe burst and, again, an FP&L backlog delayed electrical parts for the irrigation system for 9 months.

“We didn’t have power to the building that supplied the controller for our irrigation system up until about two months ago. So to adequately, adequately water the sod, we weren’t able to do that,” said BGN Owner Gage Golden.

But city officials say the sod was installed in weed-infested areas and the only reason the sod remained alive is due to rain.

Golden says his team installed the sod when he was instructed to do so and maintained it to the best of his ability without a proper irrigation system.

“The irrigation lines are in. It wasn’t perfect, but you have a finished product and we had a lot of cost in that as well,” Golden said.

The city still owes BGN contractors the final payment of $240,000.

Officials say they’ll finish the irrigation system themselves, and then decide if they’ll pay BGN the full amount.

“We’re going to be working with the contractor to rectify all these situations,” said Callaway City Manager Ed Cook.

Callaway officials say Gore Park should be completely finished by Oct. 31.