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City admits Guelph Police Headquarters renovations are over budget

Information report to council says the project, which was supposed to be completed over a year ago, 'will exceed the budget'

A new report says the $34.1 million renovation to the Guelph Police Headquarters is no longer on budget.

An information report for city council on the city's major capital projects says the police headquarters project, which has taken over a year longer than expected to complete, "will exceed the budget," having "reached the budget" at the end of February with five months of construction remaining.

The city has steadfastly maintained the project is on budget. As late as last week deputy CAO Kealy Dedman told GuelphToday that the project had not exceeded budget but was close to doing so. 

Every update on the city web site, including the latest one posted Friday, says the project is on budget.

But not according to the information report to council.

That report, released Friday, says the project will exceed the budget, but didn't say by how much.

"At the end of February, the project spending and committed costs reached the budget. With the remaining five months of construction, the project will exceed the budget due to the extent of unexpected conditions that are part of renovating an aged building," says the report to council, written by Monica Silva, the city's acting manager, corporate asset and project management.

"Staff are diligently working to mitigate costs where possible and appropriate while ensuring the expected outcome is provided. Staff are currently preparing a report to bring to council that will provide budget and funding recommendations required for successful completion of the project."

The project is funded 45 per cent by development charges and 55 per cent by taxes.

The project started in May 2016.