Nanaimo city councillors will spend up to $20,000 more on a core services review.
Nanaimo politicians agreed at an open meeting Monday to increase the cost of their contract with Western Management Consultants, which includes the Vancouver Island Conference Centre and the potential to repurpose part of the facility.
Previously, expenses were $228,900.
City council also agreed to a plan for the second phase of the core services review, which has been underway since December. It’s set to look at areas like transportation, bylaw and parking, as well as arm’s-length groups, providing information on the delivery and financing of city services, efficiencies, savings and improvements, a press release shows.
Council included the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association and the conference centre in the work in January.
According to Tracy Samra, the city’s interim chief administrative officer, additions to the review amount to an increase of up to $20,000, including $5,000 to look at the business association, $5,000 for public engagement and communication activities and $10,000 for the conference centre.
The city also has a market analysis underway for the centre, separate from the core review. That study will look at the needs of the facility to succeed as a conference centre with a hotel and whether, when compared with other conference centres, its rates are too high, Samra said.
“In terms of the core services review, VICC is going to be looked at from its operating agreement and its operations and whether or not the terms and conditions of the operating agreement are appropriate, as well as looking at potential repurposing of a portion of the VICC,” she said. “So at the end of the day, council will be able to assess the VICC fully [with a] comprehensive review of it so that you can make decisions about its future.”
The work is expected to be completed this May.