When it comes to whoppers, Guelph officials have no fear

In a recent column in the Mercury, Scott Tracey revealed the real cost of the intermodal transit terminal on Carden Street now under construction. City officials have been maintaining that the cost of the multi-use terminal was $8 million.

Seems officials did not include the cost of assembling the land on which to build the terminal. That was $3.4 million paid to Greyhound and CN Rail.

So the real cost is $11.4 million, not $8 million.

Tracey used the euphemism “massaging” when describing the artful dodging by officials of the real cost of the terminal.

Sounds more like a whopper to us and such manipulation of capital projects costs has become all too prevalent. Taxpayers are duped by these practices.

Another example was the revelation that the Downtown Business Association committed $200,000 toward the city hall rink project. What has that got to do with improving business downtown? The 450 members of the Association must pay a special levy with their taxes to support business improvement and development. Now that includes skating rinks.

The civic museum project is well over budget and counting. No one will own up to the extra costs. Another is the cost of the new compost plant. There have been so many versions of the cost of this project, that it’s impossible to figure the end number. Even worse, the city has never owned up to the actual operating costs.

Finally, what are the costs of developing the Hanlon Business Park that has yet to see a business?

Trying to get city officials to own up to actual costs is akin to having a molar removed.

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