Pool project putting tax payers in the deep end

Editor: Re: “Aldergrove rec centre costs rise,” (The Times, July 25).

The Aldergrove pool/arena project now has a planned cost of $53 million, up 50 per cent from the original $35.5 million forecast. Could not our well-paid Township politicians sense that the project would be way over budget?

I wonder how many of our Township employees who make $100,000 or more a year worked on this, and how they could be so wrong. The news article quotes Township parks and recreation director David Leavers as saying “Staff would only be confident in moving forward at this time with a total project budget of approximately $50 million.”

The excuse offered, according to the news article, was that there was a nine per cent discrepancy of square footage from concept to detailed plan. The financial plan offered is that they hope to get some cash from the federal and provincial governments, and trim a few features.

Then they say “we have to add another $3 million for roads and services.” Council set some parameters and approved a $35.5 million project, but staff are comfortable at a $53 million total.

When the project opens, you’ll find the taxpayers in the deep end of the pool and the penalty box of the arena, while the politicians and civil servants have a photo-op, cutting a ribbon and congratulating themselves.

Dave Matlock,

Langley

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