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Council gives nod to auditorium audit

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Kuch Stephenson Architects Ltd. is being hired by the town to analyze the “multi-use” figures to make sure Fort Frances is paying its fair share of the costs for the auditorium project.

That bill is estimated to come in at $2,300-$2,800 plus GST.

Town council also will have further meetings with the Rainy River District School Board, Confederation College, architects, and construction managers to determine how the costs are achieved.

But Mayor Glenn Witherspoon assured after last night’s regular council meeting that the facility would be fully completed, including theatre equipment and seating.

Council went in-camera to discuss recommendations from the town solicitor on the contract it has with the school board. And while a figure was discussed as to how much more the town was willing to pay for the project, Mayor Witherspoon refused to say what that figure was.

“We know it’s going to cost more than the original concept,” he said last night. “We just want to keep a lid on the costs.”

So far, the town has agreed to pay $1.8 million, less senior government funding (the Heritage Fund came through with $1.25 million) and less the auditorium group’s $570,000 commitment.

But the last figure the town received on the estimated completion cost was $3.4 million. Mayor Witherspoon stressed it was not that amount.

Also last night, council gave the go-ahead for smoke stacks ($28,000) and installation of the catwalk ($62,000), as well as approving the outstanding invoices totalling $440,000.

“They’re based on a percentage of the construction,” Community Services manager George Bell noted, explaining that was reduced to 12 percent (at one point it was 12.55 percent).

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