Strathmore Town Council has passed an amendment to its 2023 capital budget, voting to allocate additional funds towards the aquatic centre roof replacement. 

A request was brought before council during the May 17 regular meeting, which suggested approving $105,000 of Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding for the project. 

Director of Community and Protective Services, Mark Pretzlaff, said cost estimations have gone up since project discussions began and the extra funding would be utilized to cover the extra expenses.

“Unfortunately, as (presented) in my report, (the project) brings some cost increases, mostly due to inflationary costs from the initial budget that have driven up the costs for the aquatic centre roof replacement,” he said. “This is a part of our capital project plan; it was identified in 2019 based on the age of the roof, as well as the conditions of it. The roof now is at approximately 20 years old … it has a lifespan a little bit beyond 22 or 23 years because of the wear and tear on it.”

The request would cover the additional funds necessary to complete the project, as well as some of the consulting fees associated with the engineering company which has provided their expertise on the matter.

In the report presented to council, it was documented that failure to replace the roof may result in increased costs in labour and materials even further above current estimations. 

Town administration contracted Williams Engineering to complete a building assessment on each municipal building in 2019. In these reports, the aquatic centre roof was identified as needing replacement due to its age, and visible cracks in its membrane.

Original estimations for the project suggested its completion in 2021 with an overall expense of $400,000. The project was postponed due to financial constraints at the time.

Mayor Pat Fule said on a related note, having a surplus of finances in the town’s reserves made being able to front the extra expense a tolerable ask. 

“This is a good example of why we have worked with and listened to the finance department as far as increasing our reserves, because this is an example where costs have gone up and because we have added to our reserves, we are able to do something like this and deal with the extra cost to a project that is absolutely essential,” he explained. “There is basically no getting around fixing that roof, so kudos to the finance department, our Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and staff for putting us in a situation where we can deal with this.”

Councillor Jason Montgomery moved that council approve the use of $105,000 of MSI funds to complete the aquatic centre roof replacement. The motion was carried without further discussion.

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 25, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   Strathmore Times   Strathmore, Alberta

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