26 June 2009

“Stimulus”: price tag on delayed fisheries centre jumps 71% before construction starts

That aquaculture veterinary facility promised by the provincial government to start in 2007 was originally supposed to cost $4.2 million.

It was supposed to open in 2009.

Tenders for site preparation just went out.

The tender for construction won’t be out until the fall.

The new cost is $7.2 million, 71% higher than when it was first proposed.

Tracy Perry, the provincial Conservative member of the legislature for the area attributes the cost over-runs to “design and tender work” whatever that means.

The facility will still take two years to build.  Construction is supposed to start this year but the thing just went to tender, two years behind schedule.

Odd then that back in January, fisheries minister Tom Hedderson described the building as if it was already under construction:

“As well, the new aquatic veterinary facility that my department is building in St. Alban’s is going to help improve on these protocols even further by enabling more timely testing and results.” [Emphasis added]

There’s also a news release from the same time where Hedderson is quoted as saying the same thing.

Incidentally, the size of the new facility hasn’t changed even though the price tag is almost double what it was.

rideout In 2007, then fish minister Tom Rideout told the people of St. Alban’s that the facility would house 10 staff and their offices and equipment. “He said the new facility should be operating by the end of 2008.”

In 2009, the completed facility “is expected to house 10 staff, including development and inspection personnel, as well as aquatic health staff and veterinarians.”

Wonder why the project took two years to start and will cost almost twice as much – during a major recession – if it is basically going to do now what it was supposed to do then.