TRURO - Colchester County's capital share of the Rath Eastlink Community Centre (RECC) has increased to $18 million because of construction cost overruns.
Colchester County's capital share of the Rath Eastlink Community Centre (RECC) has increased to $18 million because of construction cost overruns.
"We've known that for the last year that there would be some overruns," Mayor Bob Taylor said of construction issues, adding that efforts were made to keep those figures to a minimum.
In late 2009, an original amount of $14.4 million was approved as the municipality's share based on an estimated cost of about $49 million.
The Town of Truro committed to contributing $9.6 million, while the federal government's contribution was pegged at $10 million. Further funding was set at $9.5 million from the province with the final $5.5 million to come through community fundraising.
Cost overruns for the facility during construction, however, put the final tab at $55 million and Taylor said officials will be having some "pretty serious discussions with the contractor" over the additional figures.
"A lot of this is up in the air yet because we're disputing some of the costs," he said.
So far, the County of Colchester has contributed more than $16.3 million towards capital costs. Of that figure, $2,281,078 was provided through the municipality's Special Operating Reserve and General Operating Fund, while the remaining $14 million was provided through debenture funding.
At its last meeting, council approved further debenture funding of $1.7 million to bring the county's total share to $18,003,078.
When Truro council approved its $9.6-million share for the centre, it also included a 10 per cent ($960,000) allotment for cost overruns without requiring further action.
And Town CAO Jim Langille said no request has yet come to council for further funding.
Last winter, RECC general manager Jim Lambert, projected a financial loss of approximately $737,000 for the first year's operating costs, which is to be split equally by the county and the Town of Truro.
Lambert has recently predicted, however, that the first-year losses may not be as high as initially thought, because of better-than anticipated revenues at the civic centre.
Taylor said that financial picture will become clearer when a financial statement of the centre's operations is presented at council's next meeting on Oct. 30.