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The high cost of our free library

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Free Library to cost an extra $211,183 … and then some!

At its September 2005 meeting, the RCoW council voted to enter into contractual arrangements for the construction of a joint community and Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE library at Docker Street, Wangaratta for a lump sum price of $3,500,000 (inclusive of GST).

The funding for the joint library was spelled out in a letter dated 30/11/05 from the then CEO of the RCoW, Justin Hanney, as follows, “The joint community/TAFE facility has an anticipated $180,000 of community raised funds towards the total budget. Two grants of $660,000 and $250,000 have been received from the state government and $500,000 from the federal government. GoTAFE are committing the building and a further $500,000 whilst the Rural City of Wangaratta has committed $1,400,000”.

At the April 2006 meeting, council is to vote on a revised lump sum price of $3,711,183.00 (inclusive of GST). That is an increase of $211,183.

It was discovered that the existing ‘A’ block of the TAFE building had been subjected to a series of extensive structural renovations over the years; such renovations hidden by ceilings and other plasterwork. This has meant that the detailed structural design has needed to take into account and allow for structural strengthening of the existing building.

It was also discovered that all the existing electrical cabling and high percentages of the existing sewerage and stormwater drainage lines are in very poor condition and will need to be replaced as part of this project.

It is anticipated that there will also be an increase in operating costs when the facility is opened. To date there has been no announcement about who will pay the operating costs.

In the planning permit for the construction, the RCow has included a requirement to provide for 28 carparking bays, the cost of which is not allowed for in the total funding commitments of the funding bodies.

The RCoW council meeting business papers offers no explanation where any of these extra funds are coming from.

This increase comes just one month after council agreed to a major increase in the contractual price of the Joined-up Government Centre.


Written by Greg Naylor

15 April 2006 at 4:39 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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