Rec complex tab tops $6.5 million
Latest jump blamed on costs previously not considered

by Richard Gleeson
Northern News Services

INUVIK (Apr 04/97) - The good news is an overall cost has been established for the new community centre complex. The bad news is the cost is $6.5 million.

Over budget and behind schedule, construction of the multi-use facility came within two council votes of being called to a halt Wednesday night.

"We need to say 'enough is enough,' gentlemen. It was originally a $4.5-million project, our line in the sand is $6.2 million -- you figure out how to do that," said councillor David Connelly, referring to Tetlit'Zheh Construction Ltd., the company overseeing the project.

Councillor Vince Sharpe tabled the new estimates, the first in a long while to provide a glimpse of the total amount of tax dollars going into the project. In January, council resolved to limit the project to $6.2 million.

Sharpe argued the project must continue. He said cost over-runs were due to a variety of additions, including a stage, new boilers (originally, used boilers were to be installed) and the fact that engineering and other costs had not been included in previous estimates.

If payment, and consequently work, stops on the project, said Sharpe, the town will lose the benefit of the pool of skilled workers, who could move on to work elsewhere.

He added local subcontractors will be also be harmed, since they have paid for materials currently on way to the site from down south.

"Rocky's Plumbing has probably got $100,000 worth of equipment on the road right now," said Sharpe.

"The previous council was remiss in not tracking these costs," said Sharpe. "They didn't track these costs and now we have to eat it."

After lengthy debate, council defeated a motion to halt payments on the project until Tetlit'Zheh Construction produced a budget to complete the building for $6.2 million.

Instead, the mayor agreed to speak with company representatives last week.

To date, $4.7 million has been spent on the new complex. The projected total cost is $6,525,137.

On the other side of the balance sheet, council forecasts it will collect another $372,000 for the project. Of that amount, $200,000 is dependent upon council entering into a lease agreement with the curling club.

Howden said another $12,000 will come from territorial funding for labour with the remaining $160,000 raised through bingos and lotteries.

It was not clear how much of the money already assigned to the project had been paid out, but Sharpe said the city will need to raise another $27,000 in addition to the money it is counting on collecting.

Opening of the facility, originally slated for December, is now set for June 29.