North Saanich’s redeveloped District hall redevelopment project went over budget — by only $2,117 — and council is happy about it.
In a report to council earlier this week, Chief Administrative Officer Rob Buchan gave council a final report on the project, outlining where the minor overrun occurred. According to his report, legal fees related to the construction contract cost the District $2,251 in December 2017. That meant the District had to turn to its reserve accounts for an extra $2,117 to cover the difference.
An additional $2,500 in holdback funds from the contractor, he noted, was retained by the District as of Feb. 28, 2018, for two additional sound panels to be installed at the new front counter area.
North Saanich had budgeted $2,604,500 for the project. Final costs came in at $2,606,617. The District reported in August 2017 that the work was expected to be slightly under budget.
Buchan said that’s really close and in terms of the overall cost of the redevelopment, “it’s a pretty good performance.”
Mayor Alice Finall commended staff for being able to keep so close to the budget. She said North Saanich’s two capital projects in the last decade — District hall and the redevelopment of the Wain Road Fire Station — have kept very close to the budgeted amount. She said in the 10 years prior, the District saw much higher cost overruns on a couple capital projects at that time.
While pleased that construction contract was so close to being on budget, Councillor Geoff Orr announced his intent to bring up a motion at the April 16 council meeting, asking for a full cost breakdown. He said he wants all costs associated with the redevelopment of the municipal hall listed — not just the main construction contract.
“This did cost more than just the construction contract,” Orr said.
Council unanimously approved Buchan’s report.
The municipal hall project was done to replace the building’s north wall, which was rotting. An additional wing was added to upgrade staff working areas (getting people out of basement offices) and public reception area. Council chambers were upgraded and accessibility was improved. An array of solar panels was added, feeding electricity to the building.