Consultants for Sylvan Lake are poring over town hall plans to find ways to cut costs after construction estimates came in higher than expected.
Just under $7 million was budgeted for the new building but the lowest of four tenders came in at $8.8 million, or 22 per cent over the estimate. Other tenders were even higher: $9.6 million, $10 million and $10.2 million.
“Administration is currently examining a number of different options from redesigning certain aspects of the current design, to reducing the footrpint of the current design, to other renovation or leasing options with the town,” says a recent report to Sylvan Lake town council from chief administrative officer Betty Osmond.
A report containing options for council to consider is expected to be brought to council at a future meeting.
Mayor Susan Samson said the town’s consultants on the project, Genivar, will be asked to determine if the project could be scaled back to meet costs. There may be ways to find savings by changing windows to less expensive types or other design changes, she offered as examples.
Other options will also be considered, including dropping plans for a new building and renovating the existing town hall and finding space elsewhere for one department.
“Where elsewhere would be, or any of those things, that hasn’t been discussed yet,” said Samson.
“Really we’re first looking to see if we can salvage the project because council is not prepared to go that significantly over-budget on a project at this time.
“We don’t have those kinds of resources.”
The town has been looking to replace its municipal offices because they are cramped and out of date. The design and floor plan of the new building have been approved and a site chosen at the former location of the local RCMP detachment. Police moved into a new home earlier this summer.
Council voted in April to sell the existing town hall at fair market value. Early estimates pegged the value of the building at around $800,000.