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Zoo asks city for $4.5-million advance to cover cold-weather costs

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The Assiniboine Park Conservancy has asked the city for a $4.5-million advance to cover cost overruns related to the Journey to Churchill exhibit at Assiniboine Park Zoo.

On Wednesday, council’s executive policy committee is expected to consider a conservancy request for emergency funding to cover the completion of its new Arctic exhibit, slated to open on July 3.

The city has spent $23.6 million to date on the exhibit, which has a total budget of $94.4 million and serves as the centerpiece of Assiniboine Park’s larger, $200-million redevelopment.

The conservancy is requesting an additional $4.5 million to cover cost overruns it blames on cold weather this past winter, according to a report to council. The money would be an advance on cash that the city has planned to allocate to the conservancy next year.

While the city owns Assiniboine Park, it’s run by the non-profit conservancy, which leases it from the city.

If approved by EPC at Wednesday morning’s special meeting, the plan will face council later in the day.

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