Port authority providing $71,600 interest free loan to ensure timely completion of Lester Centre roof replacement

That fiddler must have done less damage on the Lester Centre's roof than originally thought.

That fiddler must have done less damage on the Lester Centre’s roof than originally thought.

The cost of the Lester Centre of the Arts’ roof repair has decreased from the City of Prince Rupert’s original $250,000 estimate to a new figure of approximately $144,000.

“The roof will be finished this year and, fortunately, the cost ended up being less than originally estimated,” said the City’s chief financial officer Corinne Bomben last week.

As well, since the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) donated $125,000 towards the project in June at its annual public meeting from the organization’s Community Investment Fund to make up 50 per cent of the cost, the port’s adjusted donation will become $71,600, half of the new cost.

“This is consistent with PRPA’s Community Investment Fund contributions, where successful applicants can receive up to 50 per cent of their project cost, provided they have matching funds in place for the remaining 50 per cent,” said PRPA manager of corporate communications, Michael Gurney.

However, currently the City does not have the matching $71,600 to contribute to the project, so the PRPA is offering an interest-free loan of another $71,600 to pay for the remainder of the roofing cost.

That loan must be repaid in full to the PRPA by Aug. 1, 2016.

“The City is receiving a total of $143,201.23 from the Port Authority, with half that amount as an interest-free loan since the City does not have the resources to fund the remainder of the project on their own, or any other matching funds in place,” Gurney added.

“We are in the process of applying for grants to cover the balance,” said Bomben.

The roof was identified as a structure needing to be replaced in the City’s 2014 Annual Report and has been showing signs of moss growth, rusting, debris piling and drain blockage.

In the Aug. 17 city council meeting, it was revealed that Eby and Sons Construction Ltd. was awarded the roof replacement contract.

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