Salmon Arm  

High price tag for new Sicamous Health Centre remains contentious

Healing centre budget fight

The proposed Shuswap (Secwépemc) Healing Centre and its $10-million price tag remains a source of controversy in the Shuswap community.

The District of Sicamous is seeking to trim costs on the controversial project.

Chief administrative officer Kelly Bennett presented a breakdown of a quote for exterior work on the building during last week's finance committee meeting.

Bennett and chief financial officer Bianca Colonna went through the quote line by line.

“So, good news, from the original quote on Oct. 24, it was $6.49 (million), but we’ve now got a revised one to $6.3, so it’s down $170,000,” Bennett reported.

The total cost for the project is still approximately $10 million.

Bennett said interior costs could be locked down by January or February.

Currently, interior work is estimated to cost about $2.5 million.

“To get into a brand new community health centre as well as a healing centre for the Indigenous part, at no tax impact after two years of operation is like… why are we even discussing it? Of course, it’s a no brainer,” said Coun. Malcolm Makayev.

Coun. Ian Baillie, however, has doubts about the cost.

“We should be re-evaluating whether we need everything in this building, at this price tag … the question is whether we can afford it, and I don’t think we can,” he said.

Baillie noted the project’s budget has increased from $6 million to $10 million, and he believes it could go up further.

“I think that’s something the whole community believes in, is having an updated health centre. I don’t think the whole community believes in this project though. And for that reason, I can’t support it,” concluded Baillie.

A fixed-price contract with Scott Builders was authorized in the end, with Baillie the lone dissenting vote.

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