If all goes well, the Keystone Centre’s aging roof could be repaired by this summer.
Brandon City Council put their support behind a recommendation to provide an additional $2 million for roof repairs, on the condition the Province of Manitoba matches the contribution.
“If we do get the commitment from the provincial government to match the funds, and we can start the project and get it done this summer, we will commit the $2 million as our half to get it done,” Coun. Shawn Berry (Linden Lanes) said.
The actual funds would not come out until the 2014 budget, through a debenture. Berry estimated the annual payments over roughly 10 years would be about $250,000.
Berry put forward the recommendation, encouraging his fellow councillors to support it.
“It is our largest … convention and multi-use facility, and provides a major economic impact for the city with all the events that it does host, right from conventions to hockey to the winter fair, the Provincial Ex,” Berry said, adding it’s in “dire need” of capital repairs.
Parts of the complex are 40 years old and in need of immediate work, Berry said.
“In order to attract and maintain events coming to the Keystone, the repairs to the roof must be done … very, very soon,” he said.
A three-way funding agreement between the federal, provincial and municipal governments of $3.3 million was not able to be used for the roof project, due to a March 31 deadline.
“We never … got the go-ahead until late fall on doing that work, which made it impossible to start doing the roof repairs at that time because a lot of the functions that are already booked,” Berry said.
The $3.3 million in funding was used for other capital repair projects at the Keystone Centre.
“It was actually used for quite a few projects … probably the most prominent … would be getting what we call the lecture theatre back into operation, it has been shut down for quite a while now,” he said.
Other projects include repairing stairs, washrooms and the foyer area.
The total estimated cost for the roof repair project is $4 million.