The City of Revelstoke is moving forward with plans to refurbish city hall, despite costing almost $480,000 over budget.
According to Steve Black, director of engineering for the city, the project will cost the city around $1.28 million, after factoring in engineering costs as well as contingencies, on top of the $1.12 million bid.
City council awarded the project tender to Revelstoke’s Absolute Industries Ltd.
When the project was first proposed in 2016, the city had budgeted $800,000. With construction costs increasing approximately 50 per cent across the board from 2016 until now, this cost increase is right in the middle, explained Black.
“The tenders, we do not believe are out of line,” he said.
Though the city has secured a $200,000 grant from the Columbia Basin Trust for the project, the rest of the money will come from the city’s capital reserve fund.
To cover the budget shortfall, several capital projects scheduled for this year will have to be delayed into 2022 and 2023, despite city staff claiming all projects scheduled for this year were necessary, during the budget process earlier this year.
Councillor Cody Younker questioned why the projects were included in the budget in the first place if they could have been deferred.
Black took responsibility for the budget, asking council give him time to get his feet on the ground, having only started in the position in November and quickly after that, having to make a department budget.
Black also said these projects would have been deferred no matter what.
“We don’t have that bandwidth,” he explained.
Projects that will be deferred include:
- mechanics oil room
- carpenter’s building roof replacement
- sand shed
- Jordan pit coverall
Black said the contractor estimated the city hall project will require 15 local workers and pay around $330,000 in local wages. Two sub-contractors will be working on the project.
City staff also presented city council with the option to complete the project in two phases, however, the project would end up costing the city almost $200,000 more if done that way, and city hall would be under construction for a longer period of time. If construction was delayed, the city would also lose the $200,000 grant.
In the end all councillors voted in favour of moving forward with the project, acknowledging that it needs to be done to protect the building as well as to avoid future cost increases.