Moncton downtown centre figures don't add up, Hicks says
Coun. Brian Hicks wants to know how much project will cost city
A Moncton city councillor is raising questions about the figures being used regarding plans for a new downtown sports and entertainment complex.
Coun. Brian Hicks says the information he received last week indicated the city would contribute $65 million toward the project.
But Jacques Dubé, the city manager, told council on Monday night the city's contribution would be $49 million, Hicks said.
"The numbers are very fluid. It's really hard to analyze this. You know, after four years you'd think we would know what our numbers are," he said.
"And talking to some of the experts who actually do these projects across North America, the architects and the design companies, they say the first thing a council has to do is define how much money they're going to actually put into the project."
The new centre being proposed for the former Highfield Square Mall property is estimated to cost between $80 million and $100 million.
Hicks noted the 2013 tax rate is already setting aside money for the downtown centre, even though it's a project council has yet to officially approve.
Council must decide by June whether to purchase the 4.5 hectares of land for the project.
The request for proposals process is expected to begin this fall with three bidders — EllisDon, Bird Construction and L'Aréna des Canadiens Inc.'s Evenko.
The city manager has said council should have all the information it needs to make a decision within the next 15 months.
The city has been pushing for a new arena and convention centre for several years.