SOEC Contract Signed

The contract is signed, and it's going to cost more than expected.

The City of Penticton and Giffel's Partnership Solutions put pen to paper after a special council meeting Thursday afternoon regarding the South Okanagan Events Centre.

The final cost of the Design Build Agreement is just over $59 million, an increase of over $17 million.

Director of Development and Engineering Services, Mitch Moroziuk says the increased price is due to many factors.

"Some of the factors are the increase of earthworks required for the foundation and site grading, an increase in paving costs and an increase of structural steel and decking costs," says Moroziuk.

Councilor John Vassilaki says even though the cost has gone up, the project will be worth it.

"True, we may have to do some belt tightening for the next few years, but the long-term economic benefits to the city will be worth it," says Vassilaki.

Councilor Joanne Grimaldi says she won't apologize for the increase.

"If we wait longer, it'll just cost more. This is a once-in-a-lifetime project that fulfills a vision of the city moving forward," says Grimaldi.

Mayor Jake Kimberley says increased prices will not be passed along to taxpayers.

Completion of the SOEC is expected in late 2008.

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