WINDSOR, N.S. – As more details about a proposed hockey arena project at Long Pond are revealed, more of the undetermined costs are coming to light - and with that, a higher price tag.
Four of those additional costs - with the majority being design consultant fees - are now known to be between $1.2 million and $1.3 million, putting the new total now above $13.7 million. That figure could climb higher as more costs become known.
The town will also have to pay HST on the project, approximately $2 million. Those funds will be paid back as a rebate, but will still have to be paid upfront.
These additional costs were not included in the presentation at the public information session held on March 19.
There’s also a question of financing, as some of the funding contributions may be spread out over several years, rather than a lump sum.
For example, West Hants is planning to provide its $1 million contribution over five years. It’s expected that the arena will only take approximately 18 months to build.
The town may need to take out loans from financial institutions to cover all of the upfront costs and pay interest on those loans.
The feasibility study released in November 2017 estimated financing costs at $300,000. That amount is not included in the $12.5 million figure.
Chief administrative 0fficer Louis Coutinho said that all efforts would be made to keep costs down and closer to the $12.5 million estimate during the council meeting on March 27.
He compared the project to the wastewater treatment plant project in 2015, which required town council to calibrate the project throughout the construction process to keep costs from going over budget.
Members of town council said during the public information session that the community is not interested in raising taxes in order to pay for the facility and that if the project becomes too expensive, it will be re-evaluated.
Coun. Jim Ivey posted some of this information to his public Facebook page, saying that the cost of the project has risen from an estimated $9 million to $13.8 million plus HST in a few short weeks.
Updated Arena Costs (estimate)
Primary Construction Works - $12,497,000
Client Costs (furniture, IT, security) - $66,000
Soft Costs (fees and disbursements) - $1,231,777
Other Ancillary Costs - $1,500
Total (before taxes) - $13,796,277
Total with HST (rebated afterwards) - $15,866,000