Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Richter Report – January 3, 2006 – Over Budget & Out of Control (Part1of3)

Over-Budget & Out-of-Control: Diary of the Township Grandstand Project – Part 1

The Issue (First of a 3 part series)

On December 21, 2005, all members of the new Township Council (except for me) voted to pre-approve 80% of an additional $1.2 Million for the McLeod Athletic Park Grandstand project. This means that Township taxpayers are now paying 300% more than originally budgeted for their share of this project. It’s beginning to sound a lot like RAV….

Originally budgeted to cost $3.0 Million, the tally for the new open air grandstand with changing rooms now stands at $5.2 Million. Of the original $3.0 Million, $2.0 Million was contributed by the federal and provincial governments. The remaining $1 Million was to be cost-shared 80%/20% between the Township and City. However, Langley Township Taxpayers have gone from paying the planned initial budget total of $800,000 to now paying $3,000,000 because we’ve been picking up the tab for all the cost overruns.
This is a whopping 300% over-budget for the Township portion of the grandstand capital project. So when you eventually sit down in it, enjoy the seat as it will have cost you in the Township about $1270 a seat when it initially was budgeted to cost you just $339 a seat. When you pay your home taxes this July, you should calculate if your taxes paid for the equivalent of 1, 2 or 3 of the 2363 seats.

The Grandstand is in great company because adjacent to it in the same park is the new field house building that started out at an estimated $500,000 cost and ended up 70% over budget at $854,000. But that’s another story.

So when you drive by 56th Avenue and 216th street, look to the North West and you will see our McLeod Athletic Park (MAP) just east of Langley Secondary School with the artificial turf soccer field and running track. Facing this is the new gold plated Grandstand and changing rooms structure being built as we speak.

Compare the $5.2 Million value of this open air Grandstand construction cost which had no land costs included to the $6.1 Million purchase price of our new Municipal Hall - a 4 storey enclosed building which included the costly land as well! On the positive side, at least the new grandstand will have a roof.

Don’t or can’t believe all this? Stay tuned.

Coming Tomorrow: Part 2 - The Background/ History (Second of a 3 part series)

(Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) to see 3 part series

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