The City's Senior Management Team has suspended all work on LRT that is not required to meet provincial funding requirements and appointed a manager to "aggressively pursue" all-day GO service.
By RTH Staff
Published July 18, 2011
On July 15, City Manager Chris Murray sent an email to Council and support staff to suspend all staff work on the Light Rail Transit (LRT) project that is "not required to be completed" under the City's $3 million funding agreement with the Province.
According to the email, Murray has taken this step to "give the Senior Management Team an opportunity to review the current work plans, evaluate the results, and report back to Council" on what is actually required to meet the City's obligations to the province, which gave the City $3 million to plan and design LRT on the east-west B-Line.
The email also notes that Chris Phillips, senior advisor to Planning and Economic Development General Manager Tim McCabe, has been selected "to lead a staff team to aggressively pursue all-day GO Service to a station on James St. N., and Centennial Parkway".
Here is the text of Murray's email:
Mayor and Members of Council:
In light of the recent public attention given to Light Rail Transit within the B-Line corridor, I feel it's important to update you on steps being taken to make sure that we are meeting the commitments that were agreed upon, on the part of the City, for the Metrolinx funding.
The City must ensure that the scope of the work being done is being tightly aligned with the terms of the funding agreement. To this end, I have made a decision to suspend all current direct and indirect activities of the Light Rail Transit Initiative other than any work activities required to be completed under the agreement.
This decision will give the Senior Management Team an opportunity to review the current work plans, evaluate the results, and report back to Council with a detailed scope of work needed in order to live up to our obligation under our agreement. It will also help us to get a clear picture of the financial implications of the LRT initiative.
At the same time, Tim McCabe, General Manager of Planning and Economic Development has appointed his office's Senior Advisor, Chris Phillips, to lead a staff team to aggressively pursue all-day GO Service to a station on James St. N., and Centennial Parkway, as per the 2011 SMT Work Plan, approved by Council on April 27, 2011. The terms of reference for this group, as well as any resources to be transferred to this initiative, will also be reviewed by SMT and reported to Council.
I want to be clear, I along with the entire SMT, continue to have full-confidence in the individuals involved in all of these initiatives. They have worked professionally and diligently to bring these very complex and complicated files to a position where Council can make an informed decision on their future. SMT will continue to rely upon them in the preparations for the upcoming Council report.
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