COUNCIL has been forced to foot the bill for Griffith’s new Rural Fire Service (RFS) centre which has sat unfinished since the developers folded in February.
The Wakaden Street building was due for completion mid-March but construction came to a halt on February 21 when developer Bilas Knight went into voluntary receivership.
Following a detailed report by council, it was revealed this week the total estimated cost to complete the building was almost $465,000.
Council will contribute $55,000 while the RFS will fund the remainder.
Subcontractors hired to work on the building were left hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket.
According to council’s principal planner Peter Badenhorst, meetings with subcontractors revealed they held a general belief that council, being a government
organisation, should bail them out of the situation.
But Mr Badenhorst said while council was sympathetic to the situation, it was not in a financial position to directly assist subcontractors in recouping the unpaid amounts by Bilas Knight.
While he said it may take some time to finalise negotiations with all parties, Mr Badenhorst said it was positive that they were finally making progress.
“At least we have now got the go-ahead for negotiations and we are moving forward,” Mr Badenhorst said.
Once everything is finalised and workers are allowed back on site, Mr Badenhorst expects the building will take eight weeks to complete.
The funding to complete the building was included in the 2012/13 council budget.
Mr Badenhorst was unsure where the funding would come from but council may have to amend down another capital project by $55,000.