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Carbonear’s on again, off again theatre project is on again

By Chris Lewis | Oct. 15

The Town of Carbonear may finally be getting its civic centre upgrades soon.

On Tuesday night, Oct. 13, Carbonear council members met via Zoom for their regular meeting. At it, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Cynthia Davis raised some projects that have been off and on for quite some time, including upgrades to the community’s civic centre, which doubles as the Town Hall.

Some 10-years ago, the town was approved for funding to cover costs of the upgrades, which included things such as increased seating and a larger backstage area. The tender for the project at the time ultimately came in higher than anticipated.

Following this, the Town went back and applied for additional funding, something that Davis said was a successful but time-consuming process. The lowest bidder then declined the project, which began even further frustrations for the Town.

After approaching the second lowest bidder at the time, the Town found out that because they had been awarded funding based on the lowest bidder, the work couldn’t proceed without making up the difference in bids.

“In order to move forward – and this will have to be approved by council – there will be a budget shortfall,” Davis said.

But Davis added there are some areas where the Town can make up some funding. Alternatively, since there is already some money budgeted, the Town could budget some additional funds into the 2021 budget.

“It seems that that’s the preference of council,” Davis said of the latter option. “It has been about 10-years of making applications to get the extension here on the centre for the theatre, and for a multi-purpose space. So, I feel this is probably going to be the last opportunity. We finally have funding for this.”

The second lowest bidder, Eastern Contracting, was ultimately given the tender for the project with a motion carried unanimously by council.

The tender awarded to Eastern Contracting came in the amount of $1,025,630 plus HST.

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