Thursday, November 09, 2006

Province Newspaper Reports on Township Grandstand Doubling In Cost

This morning's Province Newspaper on page A20 covers (on-line subscription required) the $3-4-5 million dollar Municipal athletic Park Grandstand fiasco that was exposed by Councillor Richter in her previous postings here in LFP.

The Province News reporter Kent Spencer, reports, "Costs at MacLeod Athletic Park have reached $5.6 million, up from the $3.1 million contained in council's rough estimates three years ago." Shockingly he further reports that at this Monday's Township council meeting they once again added another $302,000.00 to the out of control project. Worse still,more costs are expected as well!

The Province Newspaper further reports that, " Langley Township had the fourth-highest property tax and utility increases in the Lower Mainland in 2006. According to The Province's survey, taxpayers' bills went up an average 5.6 per cent, almost triple the rate of inflation, for an average single-family dwelling." Should you wonder why?

The Grandstand has 2,200 seats and is located at 56th Avenue and 216th Street. When you drive by it, this editor, finds it diffilcult to fathom it costing close to $6 million and maybe much more. It only has row concrete slab bench seating after all and a partial open air roof! No real individual seating at all. In fact in contrast for about under $20 million Township was able in the same time to buy it's new Township Hall building, gut it and renovate it totally! No comparison, but the large magnitude of the new Township Hall in comparative bucks makes this editor question the big cost of the simple Grandstand.

Councillor Jordan Bateman who previously made the initial motion to increase the budget by approximately $1 million last December despite the concerns of Councillor Richter, on his website now essentially reports sunshine and roses on this latest cost increase in contrast to the Province News report and in contrast to Councillor Kim Richter. She was also quoted in today's newspaper saying that council "blithely" approved the million- dollar injection last December."I'm concerned about dramatic budget escalation,".

When Councillor Richter comes back we hope to ask her to comment on this latest budget increase. Most unfortunately and curiously this latest Grandstand budget increase at the November 6th Township Council meeting occurred while Councillor Richter was not able to attend.

Mayor Alberts' simple answer quoted by the Vancouver Province is, "He said it was not uncommon for some projects to go higher than budgeted "in this construction climate."

Wow, while the overall budget has almost doubled theTownship Taxpayers are paying well over 3 times what they initially were to pay for the Grandstand! And in the final analysis it ain't over yet folks!. Given this doubling and tripling of costs I am perplexed as to why no significant comments or questions on this have ever arisen in the Langley Times and especially no comments on this in yesterday's edition either. One has to wonder why. We should thank our lucky stars that this bunch on Township Council isn't involved in the 2010 Olympics building budgets!

For complete details and the real inside story on this Township of Langley Grandstand Fiasco see Councillor Richter's and The LFP Editor's links to previous postings on these links below;
Out of Control part 1 of 3
Out of Control part 2 of 3
Out of Control part 3 of 3

Bureaucratic History Rewrite Attempt
Council Votes NO to Prevent Overruns

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