Comment 27868

By Bob Bratina (anonymous) | Posted December 10, 2008 at 17:50:16

None of my contentions were refuted by staff. Although Councillor Ferguson claimed on radio today that my numbers did not include financing costs, in fact they did, as attested to by Joe Rinaldo in the discussion at Committee. The total amount that would be paid out over 20 years under the City Centre proposal, interest included, would be $50 million dollars. The total amount for the current strategy over 20 years would be about $170 million dollars, assuming that City Hall renovation costs don't rise. That leaves a difference of $120 million, and if penalties were as high as $20 million, guess how much would still be saved? Councillor Clark originally supported the motion, but backed out with the excuse that we would incur costs to assess the City Centre property, perhaps $150,000 dollars. I asked if we did this with purchase of the Lister Block. Here is staff's answer. "Section 9 k)of the agreement provides the following: 'Vendor shall submit to Purchaser a structural assessment report on the Lister Block Building prepared by a licensed structural engineer, hired by the Vendor'......." In other words LIUNA paid.

Councillor Clark also suggested we would have to do a geotechnical study of the ground beneath the City Centre. This not done with Lister, although it is generally believed that an aquifer or underground river lies beneath that property which may inhibit the size of commercial buildings that were proposed in conjuntion with the Lister Block.

In the face of the world economy, would we make the same decision today for City accomodation? Why wouldn't we just put the projects on hold for a year to get a better understanding of what we are facing financially for the City, and stay where we are? And what are the priorities for the City as of today? Here's a list of our big ticket items. Office space, McMaster Faculty of Family Medicine, Water and Sewer infrastructure to support new employment lands, LRT. We can't afford them all, and we don't have any room for unanticipated situations. There would be no extra financing required to just sit tight, but Council was completely unwilling, except for 4 of us, to even consider it.

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