Next spring, lovers of the game of lacrosse will be able to play the sport outdoors year-round in Port Moody.
However, that experience has come at an extra cost to the city.
On Tuesday, city council learned the Westhill lacrosse box replacement project will be over budget.
According to a staff report, the project will now cost $1.21 million to complete, up from the original $981,000 budget.
The larger tab is a result of an increased cost to build a roof on the box.
The original budget for the roof was $400,000, but after the city tendered the project twice, the lowest bid came in at $629,000, for a difference of $229,000.
City staff explained the higher cost appeared to be related to price increases in steel and the need for more substantial structural footings to support the roof due to soil conditions.
The original project received a grant from the province’s Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development for $681,000, while the city budgeted another $300,000. The city tried to get additional money for the project from the ministry, but was told there are no more funds available.
To get the grant, the project must also be complete by the end of March 2014.
When asked by councillors why a roof is needed for the structure, staff suggested the city likely wouldn’t qualify for the provincial cash if the box didn’t have a roof because the grant application was meant to improve year-round access to the facility.
Coun. Bob Elliott said he supported the project because he wants youth to have access to the facility, but questioned the amount of money being spent.
“I think we’re spending a lot of money on [an outdoor lacrosse box]” he said, adding he’s seen lacrosse boxes in other communities that don’t have roofs.
Coun. Gerry Nuttall echoed Elliott’s concern, but suggested the city has no real option other than to go ahead with the project under the new budget.
Council voted unanimously for the recommendation to increase the project’s budget.
The extra money will be funded from the city’s accumulated surplus, which has a current balance of $1.5 million.
The staff report also noted consultants for the project believed the box could be completed by the March deadline if the construction contracts were awarded without delay.
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