Finance Committee

Halifax audit and finance committee recommends more funding for turf field

Final decision on $1.6 million increase will be reviewed by regional council

The Audit & Finance Standing Committee met at city hall on Wednesday.
The audit & finance standing committee met at city hall on Wednesday.   Alexander Quon

A planned all-weather turf field in Cole Harbour may cost a little more than expected – $1.6 million more.

On Wednesday, the audit & finance standing committee recommended the Halifax regional council to include the additional funding for the turf, which will be built at the former Gordon Bell Annex.

Brad Anguish, director of parks and recreation for the municipality, says the original estimate put the project at $2.3 million.

But the estimate was flawed, Anguish said.

It was based on past projects like the turf installation at the Charles P. Allen school in Bedford. However, that project already had the site prepared with water and sanitary services completed. The Cole Harbour site has not.

“The other piece is we now budget for these projects differently,” Anguish said. “Previously elements like pathways, fences, scoreboards, and bleachers would have been in different budgets. Now they are all in this budget.”

Anguish said of the $1.6 million proposed increase, about $500,000 is due to the new budgeting process.

The new estimate puts the project’s cost at around $3.9 million.

Mayor Mike Savage voiced disappointment that the original estimate was incorrect.

“I understand there are reasons for [the error],” he said. “We need to have better estimates, better evaluations when they come to council the first time.”

The motion passed through the finance committee unanimously.

The final decision on the additional funding for the Cole Harbour field will be debated at a future meeting of the Halifax regional council.

Construction of the turf will begin in the spring of 2016 with completion scheduled for fall of that year.

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