Questions are being raised over the latest costings for the proposed Art Gallery, Library and Civic Space in Coffs Harbour.
It comes as business papers for the Council meeting on Thursday reveal the project to cost $76.52 million.
While Council are banking on a $20 million return for the sale of assets and a contribution of $10.5 million, bringing the net cost to around $46 million, it’s a far cry from what was earlier proposed.
Recently on Triple M, the Mayor told Moffee the ‘ball park’ figure was $60 – 65 million.
“For the whole thing, if we include the civic space, and this is ball park, really ball park, between probably $60 and $65 million”, Mayor Knight said.
The confusion continued a week later when Andrew Fraser spoke about a meeting with the Mayor, General Manager and the Arts Minister Don Harwin, where the figure was higher again.
“It shocked me a little bit. The price tag that we were believing to be about $35 million originally, is $70 million plus another $10 million for a carpark” Mr Fraser told Triple M.
When stopped and challenged about that figured, Mr Fraser claimed that there were various figures on the papers he saw.
“Well there’s two figures on the sheet of paper, there’s $64.8 million in today’s figures, then $70 million estimated plus another $10 million for a carpark”.
“I still wonder if we as a community can afford it”, Mr Fraser said.
While a bigger library and art gallery are both needed in the region, it is understood that some councillors remain uncertain of the costing blowout.
According to the business papers, the building cost is estimated at $65.58 million, a single basement carpark (85 spaces) worth $9.11 million, forward funding of $660,000 for an additional 30 car spaces, Gordon Street covered entrance at a cost of $1.17 million.
On Thursday night, Coffs Harbour City Councillors will vote on whether the Council will progress to the next design phase.