Town Engineer Jamie Galloway with the full support of interim CAO Gary Wood, presented a comprehensive report to the General Committee of Council on Monday night. The questions and answers asked by Council were all addressed in detail as he explained the options and rationale behind the new operations centre, whose estimated costs have increased significantly since first being approved.
Council acknowledged that this has been in the perpetual planning phase for 20 years and that the main subject of the debate is the 33% (1.9 million) increase from $6.6 million estimate provided last year and why it popped up so late in the planning phase if the costs were obviously increasing over the past 10 months.
Councillor MacDonald said that replacing the old facility is long overdue and could be shut down right now if a health and safety audit were to take place. He urges council to move this along, no matter the costs, for the good of the Ontario Street neighbours and the health and safety of the Town staff that have to work in the aging facility. He said that “we have too much invested to get out” of the project at this late date.
CAO Gary Wood supports the project as it stands and says there will be no budget impact in 2017 because of this building or the increased costs of financing ($110,000 / year for 30 years). Councillor Contin and Deputy Mayor Ross remind all that this in an investment in our future. Council approves option one from the document below and moves this to Council.
The Q&A begins on page 31.