SKY-HIGH COSTS: Planned refurbishments at a regional library have been delayed after the project’s cost nearly doubled.
SKY-HIGH COSTS: Planned refurbishments at a regional library have been delayed after the project’s cost nearly doubled.

Library upgrade delayed by cost blowout

PLANS TO upgrade a regional library have been put on hold, after the quoted cost for construction came back at almost double the expected price.

In May last year, the Somerset Regional Council secured an $80,000 grant from the State Library of Queensland to refurbish the Kilcoy Library.

The project was originally costed at $120,000, and council allocated funds in their budget to make up the remaining $40,000.

After going to quotation, however, the price of the project is now estimated to be almost $220,000.

As a result of this increase, council have been forced to defer the project until the 2020/2021 financial year, at which point they can allocate further funds in their next budget.

The State Library has granted approval to hold over their $80,000 contribution until this time.

"I'm very curious how we could've cost it at $120,000, but it's now increased by so much," Councillor Robert Whalley said.

Director of Corporate and Community Services Matthew McGoldrick said the reasons for the cost discrepancy weren't completely clear.

"The costs were provided by a firm from Toowoomba, so perhaps the costings are based on city standards," he said.

"It's best that we take it back to tender, and make it more competitive."

The project will be further discussed in the deliberations for the 2021 budget.


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