Laugh-in at City Hall

Posted June 13, 2012

It was reported in the local tabloid that the sale of the former civic museum property on Dublin Street is imminent. So says Jim Stokes, the city’s realty services manager.

The property was listed more than a year ago for $942,000. But while Stokes says he is hearing about interest in the heritage-designated property, there have been no offers.

Warning to buyers:  If considering purchasing this property, you will be facing microscopic overview if you attempt to renovate or change anything. The Guelph administration is obsessed with preserving designated properties at any cost.

It was revealed when the city was doing the budget in 2007 for the new civic museum it was estimated the sale would earn $500,000.

With a reported chuckle, the realty manager said: “the amount that was budgeted wasn’t based on anything. I think somebody pulled a number out of the air and said we should be able to get that at least.”

Wonder if that kind of thinking went into estimating the cost of the new museum? The figure established in a staff report said the cost would be $12.7 million. And the city has been sticking to that number for five years despite cost overruns due to foundation and faulty design problems.

It would appear that there was precious little investigation by those charged with the task of estimating the cost. Outside estimates today place the real cost to exceed $20 million by the time the landscaping is completed.

The project is reminiscent of the city take-over of the new city hall and firing the contractor for failing to meet completion deadlines. The fall-out of that exercise is a $19 million lawsuit yet to be resolved.

Details of these projects are beyond the reach of public scrutiny.

But think of the yuks generated when the city responds to enquiries.

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4 Comments

Filed under Between the Lines

4 responses to “Laugh-in at City Hall

  1. BJM

    It is by time the City of Guelph starts running their business/financials like any other public or privately owned business. They should be answerable to the tax payers of the municipality. It appears there is no accountability for those who go over budget and spend the hard earned money of the tax payers. Raising taxes seems to be the solution. There are no repercussions for delayed deadlines or going over budget. If I was to run my business in this manner, I would be unemployed.

  2. BJM

    I am looking very forward to October 2014. Big change is exactly what this community needs. Guelph has so very much potential. Thanks for the article Gerry.

  3. paul phelan

    god help the citizens of guelph

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