Price tag for Sylvan Lake fire hall spikes

Sylvan Lake’s new fire hall is already behind schedule and now council has learned the price tag could jump $1.6 million.

Sylvan Lake’s new fire hall is already behind schedule and now council has learned the price tag could jump $1.6 million.

A new cost projection presented to council on Monday estimates the project will cost around $6.2 million.

That spike gave council pause and a motion to approve that budget was defeated. Instead, council asked staff to bring back some more information on the project and its rising costs no later than the March 24 meeting.

Mayor Sean McIntyre said for most of council last night’s presentation was their first introduction to the project. They were reluctant to go ahead with a $5 million borrowing bylaw without more background.

They wanted to know how the design and location were chosen as part of a full review of the project.

McIntyre said the initial numbers were a preliminary estimate. When the project went to the architects, a more detailed estimate was provided based on recent similar projects around the province.

One of the big cost increases is related to the site work for the fire hall that is proposed for a site just north of the town’s RCMP station on Beacon Hill on 50th Street a few blocks south of town centre.

Preliminary budgeting tagged site improvements as a $125,000 item, but the revised budget boosts the costs of getting the site ready for a building to $900,000. The increase is largely to reconfigure the site that slopes five metres from one corner to the other.

“The costs to reshape the land are definitely the biggest issues we’re facing right now,” McIntyre acknowledged.

When the site was chosen several years ago it was picked for its geographic advantages and proximity to future growth areas on the west side of town. The existing fire hall is located further to the east side of town.

“Topographically, is where we’re running into challenges on this site,” he said, adding council wants to see if there are ways to reduce site development costs.

Another location has not been considered at this point, “however we’re not ruling anything out,” he added.

This is not the first time the town has had to wrestle with fire hall costs. The cost of the building alone was estimated at $3.3 million, but when estimates came in the price had climbed to $4.3 million.

To trim the budget, the original 19,000-square-foot building was reduced to 13,925 square feet (later increased to 14,500 square feet). New pre-tender estimates put the building cost at $3.7 million.

The latest estimate puts the cost of the building alone at just under $5.1 million.

Council was informed last month the fire hall won’t be ready until July 2015 at the earliest — eight months behind schedule.

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer teacher engages students with “cool” science experiments

On Thursday, he made fire dance to the beat of the music

Province purchases land for new Red Deer courthouse

Construction to begin in the fall of 2019

Parking costs in Red Deer are going up — so are parking tickets

City council raises parking rates by 25 per cent starting July 1

WATCH: Alberta Party leadership candidates in Red Deer

Three people vying to be the leader of the Alberta Party were… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month