Calgary Olympic bid cost increases by $5.1M

Calgary's 2026 Winter Olympic bid preparation costs will be at least $5.1 million more than previously thought.

Some of the money will be used to cover the cost of backfilling city staff working on Olympic matters

Calgary's 2026 Winter Olympic bid preparation costs will be at least $5.1 million more than previously thought. (Jonathan Utz/AFP/Getty Images)

Calgary's 2026 Winter Olympic bid preparation costs will be at least $5.1 million more than previously thought.

But that increase won't have any impact on property taxes as it will be paid for out of corporate savings.

The money will be used to cover the cost of backfilling city staff working on Olympic matters, along with hiring consultants and running a public engagement program this fall.

Coun. Evan Woolley, who chairs the city's Olympics assessment committee, says these costs will not detract from the $30 million fund already set aside for Olympic bid preparation work.

"This is being paid out of internal dollars, as was mentioned in committee, normally ... this work would have been moved around internally through staff," he said. "We, in our efforts at openness and transparency, are laying out very specifically what kind of staff time is needed to do the due diligence on this work, and what those costs are."

A chart outlining how the increased money will be spent that was presented to members of the city's Finance Committee. (Dave Dormer/CBC)

Despite that, Coun. Peter Demong says he's concerned about the additional costs.

"I'm never happy about spending money," he said. "I'm impressed we're coming out in a very transparent manner. These are city workers and in a lot of cases, a lot of different governments wouldn't even mention that this money is being spent. I like the fact that we're coming out and saying, this is what we're actually costing us on an internal basis, so we're letting that be known as publicly as possible."

The money will be spent over the next 16 months leading up to a decision by the International Olympic Committee on who will host the 2026 winter Olympics, which will be made in September 2019.

With files from Scott Dippel