North Bay Mayor Al McDonald wants residents to understand that the estimated cost of the proposed community centre and arena may not be the final dollar amount.

The architects designing the West Ferris facility have pegged the cost at $29-million to $31-million.

But they also cautioned council to build in a 5 to 10 percent contingency fee in case there are cost overruns.

“So if we say it’s $31-million and it (becomes) $32-million people will think it’s over budget,” McDonald said.

“But that’s not the case because we have to build in that contingency”.

McDonald says accounting for the contingency gives a price range of $32.5-million to about $34-million for the facility.

McDonald says, for the most part, public reaction to the proposed community centre and arena which replaces the ageing West Ferris Arena has “been more positive than negative”.

“There will be individuals who believe we should not invest in an arena, or park or Capitol Centre,” said the Mayor.

But the Mayor says although council can respect that position, at the end of the day the city needs to “provide services for all residents”.

McDonald says council has to look at all the different interests in the community.

“If you just look at a one-off, someone could say I don’t use transit so why are we investing in transit, or I don’t use the waterfront so why are we investing in the waterfront,” said McDonald.

McDonald says there’s a big picture to look at and that’s what council needs to pay attention to because it needs to consider all the interests of the community.