Hal­i­fax con­ven­tion cen­tre would cost pub­lic $327 mil­lion over 25 years: prov­ince

Truro Daily News - - OBITUARIES/ATLANTIC -

HAL­I­FAX – Nova Sco­tia’s govern­ment es­ti­mated Tues­day a new con­ven­tion cen­tre in Hal­i­fax would cost pro­vin­cial and mu­nic­i­pal tax­pay­ers $327 mil­lion over the next 25 years – a fig­ure the cash­strapped prov­ince still has to ap­prove.

Pro­vin­cial of­fi­cials also re­vealed the pro­posal would re­quire an added $46.7-mil­lion con­tri­bu­tion from Ot­tawa.

Dar­rell Dex­ter’s NDP cabi­net, faced with a pro­vin­cial debt of $13.1 bil­lion, has been mulling over whether it can af­ford the build­ing pro­posed by de­vel­oper Rank Inc.

Asked when it will de­cide, Trans­porta­tion Min­is­ter Bill Estabrooks would only say, “Soon, soon, very soon.”

His depart­ment’s break­down calls for amor­tized pay­ments of $10.4 mil­lion to cover the de­vel­oper’s con­struc­tion costs, and then an­other $2.9 mil­lion to the de­vel­oper for op­er­a­tions and up­keep of the three-storey fa­cil­ity.

The pro­posal would have those costs split be­tween the prov­ince and the city. The fed­eral con­tri­bu­tion, which has not yet been se­cured, would be needed by 2014.

The con­ven­tion cen­tre would be lo­cated on the site of the de­mol­ished Hal­i­fax Her­ald build­ing.

The fa­cil­ity, in­clud­ing a ball­room half the size of a Cana­dian foot­ball field, would be part of an of­fice and ho­tel com­plex that de­vel­oper Rank Inc. has costed at al­most $500 mil­lion.

The govern­ment said it’s ex­pected the cen­tre would cre­ate about 12,000 jobs and gen­er­ate more than $40 mil­lion in pro­vin­cial tax rev­enues dur­ing the first decade of op­er­a­tion.

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