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PASADENA — The newly sworn-in Pasadena council has received official word from the province the town is on its own when it comes to a budget shortfall for a new recreation centre project.
A letter received late last week indicates councillors will need to decide how to come up with the extra $1.3 million needed to go forward with the recreation centre in its current design phase, or go a different route.
Council will discuss what that different route could be during a closed meeting next week. The town may need to start over with the design, hoping for a less expensive building. Services could be cut out of the finished product or the town could look at borrowing the needed funds, possibly adding to the tax burden of the community.
Mayor Otto Goulding said nothing has been decided yet.
The new facility was announced during a visit to Pasadena by Premier Kathy Dunderdale in 2011.
Approximately $8 million was to have come from the province, but the tender bids that came in this past summer were all way over the amount given, leaving council scrambling to figure out what to do.
“We have to determine what we’re going to do and that’s part of what (next week’s) meeting will be about,” said Goulding. “It’s a difficult topic for a new council, and for the new councillors it is a challenge.”
He said options include borrowing the full $1.3 million overrun and paying it off over time. Reducing the cost of the building is another option, and looking at the building to see what features could stay.
Another option, said Goulding, is to not do the project at all, but he stressed council will do whatever it can to bring the recreation centre to fruition.
He said the province may need to look at different ways of doing projects like these.
“We go to tender with a certain amount and the province approves the pre-tender amount, and (the amounts yielded by tender) give us a shock,” he said.
“We worked with experts in the field and we find we’re over and can’t get the additional funding. My opinion is there should be another process so that this doesn’t happen.”
Council has extended the tender offer by four weeks.