Smithers council will wait until next week to tackle an estimated increase of $2.17 million to the airport modernization project’s budget.

The original 6 million dollar estimate left out several cost increases now under the architect Moore Wilson’s estimates, bringing totals up to 8.17 million.

The largest of the unexpected increase was a five per cent cost escalation on 6 million totaling 1.2 million. Escalations beyond 2018 are not included in the proposed budget, according to Airport Manager Rob Blackburn.

Costs that are added to the Moore Wilson Architect budget are as follows:

$1,200,000 in construction cost escalations since 2012.

$250,000 for a geo exchange field and high performance mechanical systems reduced from 650,000 with $400,000 in savings to install natural gas boilers to heat water exchange units.

$271,000 for hazmat to determine hazardous materials and how to remove them.

$171,000 for a larger arrivals carousel and belt to carry bags.

$160,000 for civil and site works that doesn’t include asphalt replacement for water main issues or contaminated soils.

$125,000 for furniture and equipment at about $1,000 per seat.

The new design shows a larger floor plan by about 235 square metres and washrooms on the main floor level in the departures lounge. Moore Wilson has also increased the area of renovations by 115 square metres.

Council is planning to build the project long into the future to invest in the airport and make it energy efficient and attractive to potential customers. The cost increases aren’t expected to affect the tax base with a contingency of $318,000 built into the project.

A 4 million dollar grant and the borrowing of 3 million dollars along with other grants staff will chase are expected to bare the brunt of the costs. Council would have to draw from airport reserves if over 700 thousand dollars isn’t secured through grants.

The 4 million dollar grant requires the installation of the geo exchange system with a deadline of Dec 31, 2019.

Design contingency and confined spaces haven’t been added to the new estimates.

Council will meet Tuesday Dec 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Smithers town hall to approve the budget.