Fort Macleod council strengthened its commitment to the police college by adding $362,000 to the
$3.5-million it has already allocated for electrical, sewer and water services.
Council made that decision after learning the cost of servicing the police college site has doubled since Fort Macleod made its first commitment in 2005.
“The estimates are much higher than they were in 2005,” Mayor Shawn Patience said. “We’re over the $7-million mark.”
Patience told council Monday on a July 15 meeting of the police college technical committee.
Patience said the issue of servicing the $122-million training centre was the focus of the discussion.
“We have been having discussions with the province about how to deal with the shortfall,” Patience said.
The province agreed to cover the bulk of the shortfall, with a few conditions.
One condition was the Town of Fort Macleod pay the extra $362,000 for a 450 mm water line that can also service the highway commercial subdivision.
A 400 mm line is cheaper and meets fire safety standards, but is not adequate for the highway commercial development.
Another condition is if the project exceeds $7-million, the Town of Fort Macleod and the province will split the added cost.
If the project finishes under budget, the town and province will also split the savings.
“It was not put before us as a take it or leave it proposition,” Patience said. “It’s really up to council.”
Coun. Susan Koots said said the decision is clear.
“We really don’t have a choice,” Koots said. “We have to support the town’s commitment.”
Municipal manager Barry Elliott said the town plans to put $971,000 from its land sales reserve toward the project.
The town will put $584,000 it gets from the Municipal Sustainability Initiative toward its share of the project.
The town plans to take a debenture of more than $1.9-million to complete its $3.5-million commitment.
Elliott said it is possible the town could put some of its 2012 Municipal Sustain-ability Initiative funding toward the project as well.
It is also possible a grant in lieu from the province could help cover costs.
Elliott suggested the annual payments on a 25-year debenture of that size would be about $100,000.
“The residents of Fort Macleod are certainly putting a lot into this,” Coun. Sharan Randle said.
“I think council’s approval of this proposal will move the project forward as quickly as possible,” Patience said.