Gilbert Plains is going ahead with their initial plan to renovate the existing hall at a quoted price of approximately $1.1 million dollars.

The question of whether to go ahead or not, was asked of Council to decide after hearing what residents had to say at the public meeting last night.

Councillor Dwayne Sydor was opposed to the decision and he tells us his concerns.

“Well when we met two year ago, we were told at time that the renovations would cost $750,000. We got a grant based off of those numbers of $750,000.  The municipality had a quarter of a million dollars and we applied for a $500,000 grant; $250,000 from the feds and $250,000 from the province. When we got the bids in for the quotes, it came in anywhere from $1.1 million to $1.6 million dollars; nowhere near the $750,000 that was quoted. We are approximately, if my math is correct, 46 percent over budget currently and we have yet to start the project.”

And he gives us his reason for voting against it.

“Just where does it end? I don’t see the money stopping.  We’re renovating a very old building and I think it’s going to cost to repair a lot more and even more than that going forward."

Although Sydor is opposed to this plan, he does feel the community needs a hall.

Reeve Blake Price is relieved the committee can move forward before they lose the grant money and tells us the next steps.

“Now we have to work things out with the contractor. We have to get a contract in place.  There are a few issues, I guess, that we have to get covered off in that contract so that we can move ahead without putting the ratepayers in some jeopardy over this project.”

The project must be completed before March 2019 to prevent the risk of losing a $500,000