MORAY COUNCILLORS WILL be asked next week to consider spending an additional £20,000 on the restoration of the Elgin fountain – to stop people getting wet.
The local authority has already sanctioned the £45,000 project that they say will restore the centrepiece to its former glory – with a contribution of £18,000 coming from Elgin’s Common Good.
At a committee meeting next week, however, an additional £20,000 is being requested for technology that will automatically turn the fountain off in adverse weather conditions. Council officers are asking the authority to dig deeper to pay for the ‘anemometer’, a device that measures wind speed.
The move has come about after residents complained that one of the issues with the fountain when it was working was them getting unexpectedly soaked as they walked past one windy days.
The device itself is expected to cost £4200 – but installation of lighting will account for an additional £16,596.
Reporting the revised cost of the project, officials say: “At the August Committee meeting, the cost of the proposed works was estimated at £45,000.
“There was a preliminary offer from Elgin CARS of £27,000 or 60% of the total project costs. More detailed costing work has been carried out and the project is anticipated to cost £67,676.
“The increased costs relate principally to lighting, tanking and anemometer costs which will enable the fountain to be switched off if wind speeds are above a certain level to avoid wind drift of water. The initial offer from Elgin CARS still stands although additional funds are not anticipated as CARS project funding has been allocated.
“It is proposed that the balance of costs is met by a contribution from Elgin Common Good fund. The estimated contribution at this stage is £40,676 and permission is sought to contribute up to £43,000 in case of further unforeseen additional costs that exceed the contingency sum included.”
Officers report that the funding could be taken from the council’s Capital budget and repaid by the Common Good over a seven year period – using half the available funding from the Common Good over that period.