Municipal officials have hinted the opening of the new Alma hall could be delayed until 2011.
Last week Mapleton’s finance director Mike Givens told council the expected date of completion of Nov. 26 was “completely off the board at the moment.”
He explained the moisture content on the site at Wallace Cumming Park is the main concern, and he expects it to be two or three weeks before the problem is addressed.
Outgoing councillor Dennis Craven, who was sitting in as mayor for the absent John Green, wondered aloud if it would be January before the building the building is finished. Givens seemed to acknowledge that is a possibility.
The other problem, Givens added, is the building contractor wants to delay paving and curb work until the spring due to the weather.
The issue with that, he said, is Building Canada Fund rules state all projects that received funding – the township last year received a grant of $1,561,700 for the Alma hall – must be completed by March 31.
Givens told councillors they need to decide whether to push the contractor to get the paving and curbs done before winter and possibly jeopardize the quality of the work, or to delay the work until spring and possibly jeopardize the federal and provincial funding for that portion of the project.
The choice, it seemed, was unanimous among councillors.
“I don’t want to jeopardize the quality of the work by trying to push ahead and get it done this year,” said Mayor-elect Bruce Whale.
He suggested there may be ways to arrange the billing and government officials may yet announce an extension.
“I would be absolutely against doing it now,” councillor Mike Downey agreed. “It’s just not appropriate … in my opinion.”
Craven said if the township is going to invest in such a large project, it “might as well do it right.”
Clerk Patty Sinnamon suggested there was talk provincial officials could extend the funding deadline as long as a certain percentage of the project is complete by March 31.
Public Works Director Larry Lynch said from a technical standpoint, the weather at this time of year is not conducive to the paving and curb work. Council agreed.