Mulling over multiplex contingency money

Lisa Goudy
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Council allocates remaining funds to a capital reserve for multiplex

Three and a half years and 45 monthly updates have all led to the final contingency fund report for Mosaic Place and YaraCentre.

In the 46th update to council for the multiplex contingency fund presented to council at Tuesday’s meeting, it stated costs for the Mosaic Place and Yara Centre contingency projects are lower than expected after total costs have been reconciled.

As such, after a lengthy discussion, the majority of councillors voted in favour of placing the remaining $510,623 in the contingency fund in a capital reserve for future upgrades at Mosaic Place and YaraCentre.

“We need to put in place funds to support the infrastructure that we built so it serves this city long-term into the future and in the meantime, city administration is putting in long-term plans for replacing aging infrastructure in our city,” said Mayor Deb Higgins. “You can’t pillage one to fix another because you’re leaving the new one in the same spot we have left our sidewalks and our roads.”

She added if many years ago, the councils of the day had set aside contingency funds for streets and other infrastructure, the roads might not be as bad as they are today.

But Coun. Brian Swanson said there are higher priorities.

“This $500,000, rather than being left in the multiplex reserve for whatever they come up with, would be better used to satisfy the needs of the community at large,” he said. “It would also buy two sets of new streetlights. It would do 10 years of back alley reconstruction as opposed to we don’t know what it would do at the multiplex.”

He added almost four years ago, the city passed a bylaw to borrow $6.4 million to fulfill the $10 million-contract with the design builders as the fundraisers had raised $3.6 million.

Since then, taxpayers have paid a “significant amount of interest,” he said.

 “The City of Moose Jaw had to finance the pledges,” said Swanson. “That was funded by a one per cent tax increase.”

Coun. Dawn Luhning agreed with Swanson.

“Just allocating money to this project because they might need it in the future is poor money management on the part of this council if this passes,” she said.

However, Higgins said a lot of the initial decisions were made prior to the election of many of the current councillors.

“There is a very strong feeling in the community that the money was intended for the project and I feel that’s important. We could all probably list 20 different things that the money could be used for now, but … Mosaic Place and YaraCentre are there,” said Higgins. “We’re not going to move them. We’re not going to be doing away with them. They’re going to be facilities serving the community for many years to come.”

Coun. Don Mitchell said he was in favour of an alternative proposed in the report to use a portion of the contingency funding equivalent to the community fundraising percentage of the budget to finish project enhancements and return the rest to the city’s capital budget.

“Allocating this contingency fund for unidentified future needs would be reckless to set aside at this point recognizing the shortage of priorities,” said Mitchell.

The total amount of fundraising dollars collected to date is approximately $7.89 million.

For Mosaic Place, the updated forecasted completion cost is reduced from a budgeted $51.77 million to $50.04 million. There is $386,581 to be made available for reallocation.

A total of $84,000 is left in the forecasted costs to address and improve heating levels in the curling rink, final closeout project management fees and the design and installation of a water filtration system.

For YaraCentre, the updated completion cost is reduced from a budgeted $9.52 million to $9.23 million. There is $124,042 available for reallocation. The YaraCentre project is finished with no further funding required.

Higgins, Coun. Heather Eby, Coun. Patrick Boyle and Coun. Candis Kirkpatrick voted in favour of the motion while Swanson, Mitchell and Luhning were opposed.

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Geographic location: Moose Jaw

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page