DRAPER — The Draper City Council voted unanimously last week to add about $240,000 to the cost of a fire station being built in the SunCrest development on Traverse Ridge.

The increased cost fell within the $3 million bond for the project but exceeded the proposed budget of $2.1 million. The original budget had already been increased by $206,000 after the United Fire Authority asked for changes in the building design.

The new expenses include removing unstable soil from the property, moving the building 50 feet to the south and attempts to heat and dry out soil, among other things. The $40,000 heating efforts, meant to prepare the ground for construction, were unsuccessful.

The budget also changed as costs in shingling and piping were decreased. However, the total budget has been increased by 25 percent as of the most recent changes.

Construction may not begin until July, project construction manager Scott Evans told the council. He added that many projects in the SunCrest area have been more expensive than projected due to the harsh weather and unstable soils.

"Building up there is a whole different ball game than if you're doing it somewhere else in the valley," he said.

The new expenses were brought to the council after they had been authorized by city staff and completed. The elected officials should have had the chance to review them beforehand, said Draper city manager Layne Long.

The situation left the council with no choice but to approve the funds.

"I'd rather be punched right in the face square rather than blindsided," said council member Alan Summerhays, requesting that the council be made aware of budget changes as they occur.

Long said new expenses would be approved properly in the future.

Officials hope to complete the fire station on the mountain by the end of this year. It will sit near a community recreation center and market already built in the neighborhood.

E-mail: rpalmer@desnews.com