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Councillors to be briefed on police HQ external audit, cost study

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PHIL HOSSACK / WINIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

The new city police headquarters, formerly Canada Post's main post office.

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PHIL HOSSACK / WINIPEG FREE PRESS FILES The new city police headquarters, formerly Canada Post's main post office.

An external audit and a cost study into the police headquarters project will be released later today.

Councillors will get a private briefing on the two reports before the documents are released at a special meeting of executive policy committee this afternoon.

The quantity survey review, which will determine if taxpayers received value for the $210-million project will be shown to councillors at 11 a.m.

From 1:30-3:30, councillors will be briefed on the audit of the construction project: a study examining the escalating cost increases that took the project from $135 million in 2009 to $210 by the fall of 2013.

Mayor Sam Katz has repeatedly downplayed the cost over-runs, wanting to separate the costs associated with the purchase ($31.6 million) and the firing range ($7.4 million), which was originally to be constructed as an indoor facility on the roof but later moved to another site outdoors.

Space in the office tower is being leased commercially and the city hopes to recoup some of its costs by selling the tower for at least $20 million.

Construction on the building is largely completed but the police will not begin moving in until the fall, a process that’s estimated to take a further six months to complete.

In other city hall business today:

- the protection and community services committee will be asked to endorse a new funding agreement with Manitoba Public Insurance, that will see the government insurer scale back its support of the police’s stolen auto unit.

- the committee is being asked to endorse a plan to place police officers at high schools and junior high schools at three school divisions across the city.

- the administration is also expected to update councillors on the status of Elmwood Kildonans Pool, which was closed in the spring by a fire. The pool is not expected to re-open until January.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

 

POLICE HQ PROJECT TIMELINE

November 2009 – The total project cost is estimated to be $135 million: $31 million to buy the building and $104 million for construction/renovation.

November 2010 – Total project cost climbs to $157 million.

January 2011 – Total costs climb to $180 million.

July 2011 – Council approved the total cost of the project at $194 million, which included $137.1 million for renovation and construction as a guaranteed price. However, the cost guarantee was based on drawings that were only 30 per cent complete – a major factor which members of council failed to notice – and the construction costs quickly escalated as the plans were finalized.

November 2013 – Council told the final cost is $210 million, which included construction/renovation costs of $155 million.

 

 

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