Horsham Town Hall: council expects redevelopment blow out

TICKING ALONG: Kane Constructions staff work on the Horsham Town Hall redevelopment on Tuesday. Picture: THEA PETRASS

TICKING ALONG: Kane Constructions staff work on the Horsham Town Hall redevelopment on Tuesday. Picture: THEA PETRASS

HORSHAM Rural City Council expects its $19.6-million Horsham Town Hall redevelopment schedule to blow out because of soil contamination.

Technical services director John Martin said council was waiting on further testing to determine when work could recommence.

Progress has been minimal since soil contamination was discovered about Easter.

The project is supposed to be finished by July next year.

Mr Martin said the project contractor would take fresh soil samples this week to define the extent of the contamination.

"I'm hoping for a quick turnaround from the soil consultant," he said.

"So I would hope, by the end of the following week, we will have a clear direction on fixing the soil contamination problem."

He said it was unlikely work would meet deadline because of the delay.

"We have asked Kane Constructions for an updated project schedule," he said.

"They have said they will not give us a new one until we get a clear date that we can resume overall construction works."

He said council did not expect the soil contamination issue to affect the project's budget, at this stage.

"We just want it built and we want it done and dusted.'' - Tim Coller

"We have a rough estimate of it, and it is a significant number, but it is comfortably within the contingency amount we have allowed for the project overall," he said.

Mr Martin came under fire from Tim Coller and Lou Krelle on Tuesday during a meeting with representatives from neighbouring businesses.

"You were made aware of the contamination in 2010," Mr Coller said.

He wanted to know why the issue was not resolved before construction started.

"We just want it built and we want it done and dusted," Mr Coller said.

Mr Krelle said he raised the issue of soil contamination with Mr Martin before work started.

"And with the building surveyor, who pointed it out to the architect," Mr Krelle said.

Mr Martin said council had done soil testing before work began.

"The testing wasn't helpful," he said. "We are where we are."

Recent rain had also hampered whatever little work had been done.

Mr Martin said preparations for concrete pouring in the stage area had been damaged by downpours, and would have to be done again.

"That's at the contractor's risk - we're not expecting a bill for that," he said.

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