The costs of the City of Cambridge’s new sports complex is creeping upward as factors, such as inflation, have ballooned the projected cost.
After requesting a report in May, council was presented with the new cost estimates for the major project earlier this month.
The newly proposed prices jumped by $13.5 million for a modified build, and nearly $24 million for the full build, according to Sheryl Ayres, chief financial officer for the City of Cambridge.
The original budget was $83.6 million.
“Well, we still see inflation. We still have world factors that are contributing to it,” said Ron Spina, project manager of Colliers Project Leaders.
Ayres said the over-budget project could add nearly half a per cent to annual taxes in the municipality for the next 20 years, also singling out the Ontario government’s new housing bill as a potential strain on local taxpayers.
“In 2023, there’s going to be a $1.5 million impact that the city needs to refund as a result of Bill 23, and we expect that impact will potentially grow in future years,” said Ayres.
Ayres noted it’s expected that the revenue from development charges in the future will be reduced significantly, and therefore, if the city is not collecting sufficient funds to repay the debt that has been issued in previous years, it will result in a further impact to tax rates.
Bill 23 is also known as the More Homes Built Faster Act and has drawn criticism from local leaders who said the bill takes away millions of dollars collected from developers.
Those concerns are another issue councillors now have to weigh as some look to move forward on the project.
“I do want to give this some serious consideration to do what we can to get this off the ground and get it moving, and do our best to not delay, because the longer we delay, the more it’ll cost,” said Corey Kimpson, a Cambridge councillor.