Mayor Brooker was not too happy at Cochrane council on Monday, September 26.
The recent news of the pool overage is not acceptable according to Mayor Brooker and he wants some answers.
"I was horribly disappointed, every time I think about it I think I am starting to understand, but no, it still frustrates me that we are in this position."
One of Brooker's frustrations is feeling like he was the last to know about the overrun.
"I have been out telling the community the project is on time and on budget for many, many months, I would rather share with the residents of Cochrane exactly what is happening as we went along, not thinking that everything is great. Had I known there was issues that were being encountered, even if you don't know the dollar value associated with what those issues are, you can at least have a heads up that we are occurring an obstacle and this is how we are dealing with it. It just would have been more appropriate had we had notice all the way along, instead of being blindsided with a $3 million dollar overage."
Mayor Brooker says when things like this go askew, blaming one particular area is difficult; in the end systems will need to be put in place so this type of surprise shortfall does not happen again.
"This is not the last large project that we have to undertake, we have a bridge to construct, we have roads to construct on the other side of the river to connect to River Heights Drive and James Walker so we want to make sure we have the correct processes for all of our projects going forward."
Even though what is done is done, Brooker says he will expect a better process going forward and more transparency.
"I do not like to be blindsided by high cost overruns, so as far as the management of that project - if things occur on projects that is one thing, but so as long as we understand what the obstacle was, what we're going to do to work through the situation, what we might do to mitigate costs. I just want to have that as full disclosure so we can have the community involved more all the way along, so there are no misunderstandings."
Brooker will spend sometime researching what caused the overage.
"I am going to find out, absolutely, if council didn't know then obviously the general public wouldn't know and I think that is wrong. We need to find a better way to do that going forward."
As far as managing the financial loss, council will hold off until budget deliberations to figure out the best way way to handle it.
"My personal belief is it makes absolute sense is to extend the financing for a year and half, which is basically what it will do. It is not a pressing matter, I didn't mind putting it off for six/eight weeks until we get together at budget and for the councillors who want to see the entire 10 year financial plan."
Brooker adds this will no way impact the bridge, RCMP station, the connecting roadwork to River heights Drive, "None of those dollars were used that would have gone to the pool or the curling facility as outlined in the 10 year financial plan."
In the end, Brooker is still pleased that Cochrane will end up with an amazing facility.
"Not for a second am I second guessing the project, I think it was hugely needed in the Town of Cochrane. The recreational opportunities that will be provided to our families, the pool and the curling, those are huge to a community. The one comforting thought I have is we are at least delivering that to the residents."