Just a scant few months ago, the town said it was prepared to spend $4.9 million to construct a brand spanking new double-rink indoor ice facility at the arena field, demolishing Memorial Arena in the process.
As we all know too well by now, that deal fell through when the company hired to build it was unable to get bonded for the project.
Eventually, the town went ahead to tender for bids for architectural proposals on a single-rink facility linked to Memorial Arena and the Sportsplex, which were opened June 9. And, surprise, the bids were in the $4.5-million range.
Wait a minute. Two rinks for $4.9 million; one rink for around $4.5 million. And that isn’t including the cost of renovating Memorial Arena!
Granted, the town found out earlier this spring that a double-rink facility could not be built here for the $4.9-million ceiling it had imposed on the project. Fine. But to find out that one rink is going to cost almost as much is ridiculous.
We can’t blame this on inflation, nor surely on the argument that costs have gone up due to repairing the damage from last spring’s flooding in Manitoba. No, let’s face it, someone let it be known that the town had $4.9 million to spend so it’s no surprise the tenders came in around that price range.
Even if we are getting one less ice surface out of the deal!
This isn’t to say we shouldn’t fork over the money for the best facility possible. The last thing we want is a slapdash rink because we’re willing to cut too many corners to save a few bucks. Having said that, though, we allowed ourselves to be painted into a corner with bids that reflect how much money we said we going spending, rather than what a single rink should cost to build.
And that’s what is wrong with this picture.
We trust this is something council will deal with this week before it short-lists the bids—or accepts any of them.