Rochester, MN (KROC AM News)  - The Rochester City Council is being asked to authorize more money for the Rec Center/Senior Center project due to some significant and unexpected cost overruns.

Staff is recommending an additional $1.7 million, which is what the project manager estimated is needed to complete the project as approved earlier by the City Council. A large part of the higher cost was the removal of a larger-than-expected amount of asbestos and other material from the former landfill the Senior Center is being built on.

The city’s initial contribution to the project was $22.3 million. The Senior Center is contributing $600,000 and the Rochester Swimming club has donated $400,000. The overall cost of the project has risen to $25 million. The Council is scheduled to vote on the request at its Monday evening meeting.

The Council is also expected to act on a request from Mayor Ardell Brede to form a task force that will come up with recommendations for the future use of the Chateau Theater building. The city is in the process of acquiring the historic downtown building and it is expected to become a central part of the DMC Heart of the City district.

If the Council approves, Brede will begin seeking individuals to serve on the task force. Brede is expected to be the chair of the group, which will likely be in existence for no longer than two years.

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