Council analysis of sport hub costs

LOCKED: The Tender Box in the foyer of Port Pirie Regional Council will be the target of submissions on the cost of building the sport hub. Tenders will close on Thursday.
LOCKED: The Tender Box in the foyer of Port Pirie Regional Council will be the target of submissions on the cost of building the sport hub. Tenders will close on Thursday.

The council technically can cover the cost of either a $15 million or $20 million sport hub.

Modelling was performed on both these estimates for the hub development.

It is highly likely that the Port Pirie Regional Council will need to borrow cash in addition to using its own resources to pay for either proposal.

There is still the possibility that there could be an even more costly variant when options are finally considered in coming months.

So far the council has $5 million from the state government, $5 million from the federal government and $5 million set aside in its budget for the project.

This adds up to $15 million and is considered to be a “no-frills” option for the development.

Another $5 million has been added to the cost for the $20 million version, offering extra amenities.

With millions of dollars needing to be borrowed to finance the project, the council is looking at fixed or variable interest rate loans or a combination of both.

The council looked at the two costings in a prudential report compiled under the Local Government Act.

Independent accounting firm Haines Norton said the council could afford either version.

The analysis was prepared last year for the submission for the federal funding as well as to meet requirements of the Act.

The difference between the two calculations is the possible inclusion of an indoor heated toddler lagoon and learn-to-swim pool that was not part of the original proposal.

Councillors and residents will have to assess the benefits of a year-round pool in what will be a once-in-a-lifetime project.

The springboard for the spending is the council’s strong financial base comprising low debt, low operating costs and well-below-average rates.

One source said the difficulty for elected members was that they “don’t know how much it will cost until they accept the successful tender”.

Council at first called for expressions of interest in the project then narrowed it to a selection of tenders who were then asked for a price.

No-one knows how many submissions have been lodged in the locked Tender Box in the foyer of the council offices, in Ellen Street.

Closing date for tenders is Thursday, after which the scope and funding of the project will be up for discussion.