Alpine Shire Council will consider reducing the scope of two capital works projects at the July Ordinary Council Meeting.
21 July 2023
A number of capital works projects from the 2022/23 budget have been experiencing budget constraints due to the current market, with national building costs rising by 11.9 per cent in 2022 – the largest annual increase on record.
Council's Director Assets, Alan Rees, said Council was experiencing escalated construction costs across numerous major building upgrade projects with tender costs significantly higher than original budgets.
Among projects impacted are the Myrtleford Memorial Hall and Tawonga Memorial Hall upgrades.
"Council's decision in 2018 to reactivate the Myrtleford Hall started with the provision of a new commercial space of the Myrtleford Visitor Information Centre, and subsequent successful funding applications and engagement with community stakeholders evolved the project to include works to revive the auditorium," Mr Rees said.
"The first stage of the project was scheduled to commence in early 2023, however it was delayed after the discovery of rising damp and mould caused by old and defective stormwater infrastructure."
Mr Rees said whilst the investigation of the mould was undertaken, the remaining design was completed, and a detailed cost plan developed.
"Unfortunately, there is a shortfall of $1.17 million, and Council will consider a reduced scope to achieve some of the original project objectives.
The Tawonga Hall upgrade, originally funded in 2021 with an $850,000 grant from Victoria Bushfire Recovery, aimed to address infrastructure issues and to modify the use of the Tawonga Hall to allow for overnight use of the facility.
Mr Rees said the project was released to the market in late 2022 to obtain tenders for the building works, however the tender process reflected a short fall in the funding of $660,000 to provide the entire scope of works.
"We have revisited the scope of this project, and Council will now consider a reduced scope of works," he said.
"The revised scope includes minor modifications to the kitchen and external stormwater as well as an uplift to the existing building that, if endorsed by Council, will include a refresh of the existing toilets, new floor and additional cabinetry to the kitchen and internal painting."
Council is currently working through potential scope reductions for a number of projects, and will continue to work with stakeholders to determine the best possible outcome within the available budgets.