Work on Stratford's new building for RCMP, fire department and Island EMS expected to begin soon
Mayor says taxes may have to go up as lowest construction bid almost $2 million over budget
The mayor of Stratford, P.E.I., is hoping work on the town's new Emergency Services Building will get underway soon now that the winning construction bid has been approved by council.
David Dunphy said he also hopes taxes won't have to go up to pay for it.
The cost of the building, which will be used by RCMP, Island EMS and the fire department, has been set at $6.9 million. That's lower than McLean Construction's original low bid of almost $7.2 million, but more than the $5 million the town had originally budgeted for the project.
"There is a potential for an increase in property taxes next year to offset some of the costs of this project," Dunphy said.
"We certainly don't want to increase taxes at all, and we will not increase taxes if it can be helped."
Costs trimmed by $300K
Dunphy said the town worked with the builders to lower the cost of the project by about $300,000, mostly through changes to the exterior of the building.
The actual integrity and the functionality of the building was not compromised in any way, shape or form," he said.
"Island EMS still has two bays, the fire company still has the number of bays that they originally requested, and RCMP has the largest space."
'Best interests of community'
Dunphy said he didn't think it was necessary to defer the decision until after the municipal elections in November.
"The decision was made with the best interests of the community long term in mind, and I don't think any future councillors would disagree with the decision," he said.
"It's very important that we start soon in this building season so that we have work done before frost hits, before winter hits."
The building, planned for the Georgetown Road, will be more than 27,000 sq. ft.
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With files from Natalia Goodwin