Big Projects, Big Budgets

Photo Karen Graham.
The Public Works Centre, Cavan yard.

In their July meeting, Council grappled with the financing of the three major capital projects currently on the horizon: the new Fire Hall, the Public Works Centre (Cavan Yard) and the Parks and Public Works building.  Funds will come from a variety of sources, including Development Charge revenue, transfers from existing reserve funds, available grants and loans.  All three projects are expected to proceed as the needs are urgent, but tenders may impact how and when.

Debt capacity for municipalities is limited by the Municipal Act that establishes a cap based on the existing financial obligations of a township, much like the debt-service ratio used to set personal borrowing limits.  Finance Director Kimberley Pope outlined the township’s limit which, even at the high end of the projected combined project costs, is well below the legislative cap.

The projects were the subject of a report from Greenview Environmental Management which gave an upper price tag of $12,115,626 for the three projects.  After deducting existing funding, this would require new debt of $7,320K.  Council was eager to control the costs of these projects.  The consultant’s cost forecasts ranged from the $12 million high end to a low estimate of $7.56 million.  Council established an even lower threshold for the projects, seeking combined cost of $6.2 million.  Staff is preparing a Request for Proposal with the flexibility to proceed with all or some of the projects which is expected to be issued this fall.

In the interim, staff will continue to seek grant opportunities to help offset the costs of these projects.  KG

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