Councillors had mixed feelings regarding the multiplex contingency fund.
After the monthly update regarding the fund for Mosaic Place and YaraCentre, Coun. Brian Swanson made a motion to have all of the remaining $1.783 million in the contingency fund returned to the capital budget for reallocation by council.
“I don’t think the multiplex operating board should get to keep some of the contingency to spend on new things that weren’t in the original contract when we have much higher priorities on other city projects,” said Swanson, adding council should decide how to spend taxpayer dollars.
His motion was passed as amended by Coun. Heather Eby to follow the city’s recommendation to return $1.5 million from the contingency fund to the capital budget and keep $282,843 in the project contingency to resolve outstanding issues. She said issues such as the filtration problem have to be fixed.
“It’s my understanding from people in the industry of the major equipment in that facility that this filtration problem will reduce the life expectancy of that major equipment,” said Eby. “I really believe it’s our responsibility to be sure that that equipment has the chance to have the longest lifespan possible and … it just makes sense that it would come out of that contingency money.”
However, Swanson said the warranty for the fund for Mosaic Place expired on July 29, 2012, and YaraCentre’s warranty expired in November 2011. He said the project had a $3-million contingency budget for “unforeseen circumstances.”
“We have now had both facilities open. The one-year warranty period has now expired,” said Swanson. “We have seen improvements reports that the contingency money is being used not to rectify problems with the original contract, but to add on new features that would have had to normally go through the city’s capital budget process.”
Coun. Candis Kirkpatrick asked city administration who is responsible for determining the use of the contingency funds for the multiplex. Administration stated the use of funds is determined by city administration, not the multiplex operating board.
For more information, see an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.