Civic centre costs are climbing to be disclosed tonight

Jason Malloy
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TRURO - Colchester County's new civic centre is going to cost more than originally anticipated, but the exact figure will not be released until a special meeting tonight.
Colchester County Mayor Bob Taylor told the Truro Daily News the details will be spelled out in a full information session for both councils and the public.
"We have to go back to our councils about some more funding," said Taylor, who co-chairs the civic centre steering committee with Truro Deputy Mayor Greg MacArthur.
The reason for the increase is due to costs going up for the project.
The joint meeting will take place tonight at 7 p.m. in the Holiday Inn's Oak Room on Prince Street.
"We want the public to come and see what we have, and how much we've done so far over the last year," MacArthur said.
In July 2008, the town and county signed a memorandum of understanding that stated the project would cost up to $33 million. The Municipality of Colchester's contribution of the municipal component was 60 per cent and the Town of Truro's 40 per cent.
At that time the parties were hoping for construction to start as early as the spring of 2009.
Almost a year ago the province announced $10 million towards the project. At that
time the project was anticipated to cost $35.5 million.
While work is being done behind the scenes for the past year, construction has yet to begin.
The group is still awaiting an announcement of funding from the federal government and has yet to work out a deal with the province to build the facility off Exit 13 of Highway 102, across Abenaki Road from the new hospital site.
"We'd like to get it for a dollar, (but we) don't know if that's going to happen," Taylor said.
"We may be forced to pay a price for it."
Taylor defends the need for more taxpayers' money based on the project's merit and the ability to cost share the overall price with other levels of government.
"I don't think these opportunities will line up again," he said.
"Both the federal and provincial governments are looking at their budgets right now and things are going to be much tighter."
Taylor said he was pleased the province committed to the project a year ago given the announcement this week that there was only $2 million for a four-rink, $39-million complex in Bedford.
"We can thank our lucky stars," he said. "I know our $10 million is approved and secured."
Then premier Rodney MacDonald and then Truro-Bible Hill MLA Jamie Muir worked with the local committee and councils to make the commitment a reality.
Taylor said the civic centre with a rink, pool and walking track, amongst other amenities, will make the region a destination point.
He said the committee is now looking at a completion date of spring 2012 with the complex ready for occupancy in September of that year.
Taylor said tonight's information will be provided for each council and they will make a decision in the future at their respective council meetings.

Organizations: Truro Daily News, Holiday Inn

Geographic location: TRURO, Colchester County, Prince Street Abenaki Road Bedford

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Recent comments

  • Sam
    March 01, 2010 - 14:40

    Given the change in the economic climate we've seen over the last 18 months or so, perhaps this is a good time to step back and reassess this whole project.

    Also, since this project was originally tabled and proposed has any other priority developed that would be a better use of this money? I think there are a couple of things out there that could now compete for those dollars.

    What we have here is an opportunity to re-examine this project and the ability to walk away from it with minimum downside impact. Do none of our politicians see this opportunity? Isn't it about spending tax dollars so they will benefit tax payers the most?

    I've said it once and I'll say it again - I just don't understand how our local governments can get away with running things the way they do. Perhaps I've been stuck in the real world of the private sector too long.

  • dave
    March 01, 2010 - 14:40

    kill the thing now - with the state of the budgets and the tax rate we all pay - it's something that would be nice - but can't afford. i am remnded of ancient Rome when the leaders made sure the populace had their fair share of wine and circuses to keep them in line and not question authority.

  • Don
    March 01, 2010 - 14:40

    It's time to reduce the costs. Why are they including another swimming pool? The county is bailing out Scotia Pools every year. Another pool will be the end of Scotia Pool.

  • Roger
    March 01, 2010 - 14:40

    The same thing happened with the hospital. It doesn't make sense to give the contract to someone at a specific bid if they can just demand more money later.

  • Judy
    March 01, 2010 - 14:40

    In reading this I have to agree with Dave, Sam, Heck and Don; there are more important things to spend our money on. What about lots of affordable housing, daycares that have increased hours and decreased fees? Why not put the money where it's needed, not into something that sounds like, to me, that will end up being no more than an exclusive country club for a few residents. Poll 500 people and see what kind of response you get as too what is needed more.

  • Tom
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    A walking track???? Can`t be serious,, oh yea , right, no where else to walk, i can`t believe it

  • Heather
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    Go big or stay home--if we're going to do this, do it right.

    But scrap the pool idea--the community already has two that can't make a go of it.

    ...and the committee is nuts if they're only putting in one ice surface :(

  • Heck Lerr
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    Can you say WHITE ELEPHANT.......

  • Keith
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    What ever happened to a signed contract. If the committee received a bid for $33 million, then the winning bidder should have to stick to that amount. At this rate by the time 2012 rolls around they'll be looking for a few million more. I don't think taxpayers should be stuck with this extra cost. I'd like to see a breakdown of where that $33 million will be spent. These infrastructure costs are getting away out of hand.

  • james
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    Since it is located in Truro they will likely come up with the extra funding without a blink of an eye, but what about the rise in costs for the new library in Tatamagouche? No they already set that budget and don't want to allow more for it. Sometimes it doesn't pay to be on the other side of the mountain.