$19.1 Million in Budget Expenditures in Quebec

$19.1 Million in Budget Expenditures in Quebec

Between 2008 and 2012, the City of Quebec has exceeded its construction budget of $ 19.1 million, representing 7.64% of the initial amount of contracts for work on the buildings, land and structures. This average is comparable to other managers of large institutional real estate holdings, according to the Labeaume administration.

On Tuesday, Quebec revealed a five year balance sheet on the management infrastructure contracts realized and supervised the department of property management, which includes more than 900 buildings and structures.

In January, a similar compilation revealed additional costs of $ 2.6 million or 0.41% over the last five years for engineering contracts (concerning roads, water and sewer).

To determine the average cost of the “extras”, officials have made the difference between the original cost and the final cost of all infrastructure contracts given by the department of property management. Including taxes, $268.9 million was spent over the last five years, compared to the expected $249.8 million according to contracts.

The difference of $19.1 million or 7.64% represents “a very interesting score” and corresponds to the “industry standards”, asserted Engineer François Picard, vice-president of the Executive Committee of the City of Quebec. The “industry” is S(ociété immobilière du Québec) as the big universities, because a few cities in Quebec, besides Montreal, have real estate holdings as varied as capital.

Mr. Picard even considers to see realized savings because the municipal engineers and architects as well as their subcontractors had expected $276 million as the final costs. In the end, Quebec City has thus paid out $ 7million or 2.6% less than originally planned. It is a “good signal” for the construction of the amphitheater, he said.

Tables unveiled recently by the city show that the extras are decreasing over the years. Donald Desrosiers, a civil engineer for the City of Quebec, explained that tighter rules on the removal of asbestos had swollen several bills at the beginning of the period and that these additional costs were now better assessed and absorbed from here on out.

Age Issues

The renovation of many older buildings is also the cause of higher expenditures. “There is heritage building. We are working without plans, so there are a lot of surprises,” summarized François Picard. The work on the town hall and the church of Saint-Denys-du Plateau, which will become the new Monique Corriveau Library, fall into this category.

The soil problems, which cannot be bypassed in urban areas, also increase expenditures. This was the case with the Chauveau soccer stadium, where a pocket of natural gas has disturbed the site. The same applies to the fairgrounds at ExpoCité, built on a former landfill.

In return, the City of Quebec sometimes saves by cutting its projects in phases and attacking some of them when entrepreneurs offer a decent price for their services.

The municipal government took the opportunity to remind themselves of the big projects planned for the coming year: the construction of a municipal garage in Charlesbourg, repairations on the Cyrille-Delage dam in Lake St. Charles, the construction of a gymnasium in Lebourgneuf’s community center and the finalization of the Monique Corriveau library and development of the House of Literature in the old Wesley temple.
LifeinQuebec.com Staff Writer

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