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Costs escalate for boat launch

It may be extremely complicated and hard to explain but the public boat launch project is going to cost more, says District of Sooke CAO Evan Parliament. And there is every expectation that district staff will be asking council for another $335,000.

In order to complete the project the extra $335,000 needs to be budgeted for in 2012. This amount represents the water-based works tender of $195,000 and a $140,000 for work done on a fence and driveway  improvements on the neighbouring properties, moving telephone poles and hydro and sump pump costs.

The $140,000 should have been covered in the tender’s eight per cent contingency fund but it wasn’t, so then it was decided that the district should pick up the extra costs.

The original estimated cost of the boat launch was $1.1 million. A grant for $605,000 came from the federal government, $200,000 from Prestige plus another $500,000 in-kind donation (for land-based works), and $300,000 from the District of Sooke.

Parliament stated that shoreline remedial work cost an extra $50,000 from the budgeted $100,000 contract awarded to Heavy Metal Marine. The $100,000 was included in the HMM tender. The price of $1.1 million did not include the price for a pier. The pier was to be paid for with the $200,000 from Prestige.

Parliament responded to questions about a “shortfall” of funding for the boat launch.

“When you say we exceeded (our agreement) you have to go back to the original grant application,” said Parliament. “the original design was enhanced. It was to be a simple ramp into the water.”

He said the current design is being built for the future and the “bulb” accounted for the bulk of the cost of the boat launch.

The extra $335,000 will come from casino funds that were to be used for the Galloping Goose crossing which is now on hold.

The district is awaiting word from Western Economic Diversification, who provided the federal grant, on the status of the grant.

Gail Hall has filed a complaint to the government alleging wrongdoings and a public investigation has been launched.

The taxpayers in Sooke are paying $635,000 for the boat launch on the $1.74 million project. That is $335,000 more than was planned for.

The land for the boat launch cost $915,000, the district is putting in $635,000 ($535,000 with HST rebate) for a total of $1.54 million. The total cost of the project, according to Parliament, is now $1.84 million.

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