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Town to Curling Club…Your Promise is Good Enough For Us
January 20, 2015Posted by on
It was recently reported in the Collingwood Connection and the Enterprise Bulletin that the Collingwood Curling Club expansion has gone significantly overbudget. Given the track record of building projects in this town, this is no surprise.
This raised a question by our crack staff of investigators on what the obligations the Town of Collingwood have financially to the overruns. As always the answer is interesting.
The Town and Curling Club entered into an agreement to split the costs of the renovation back in 2014 at an estimated cost of 1 million dollars. The Curling Club contracted to Shertine Construction to complete the project. The project has had several delays and while final costs are not in, expected to be “significantly” over budget according to Town Treasurer Marjorie Leanord.
Hmmm, ok sounds about right.
We asked for a copy of the agreement between the Curling Club and Town to see where possible cost overruns, bidding process, obligations of parties, and other details of the partnership are set out. What we received back as a “complete” agreement between the two parties is this
This is a Promissory Note.
A Promissory Note is a financial instrument that is legal binding. It simply says …I’m lending you money, and you have to pay me back. It is transferable and can be bought and sold. It’s the same as $5 bill. It’s not intended to be anything more.
What the Town has done is attached some vague wording into the Promissory Note instead of executing an Agreement or Contract between themselves and the Curling Club. Any lawyer will tell you this is a disaster waiting to happen, especially considering the money involved here.
In summary the Town has said …here is half of what you think you need, go out and hire a contractor of your choice and do the renovations. If you spend too much money, don’t worry we’ll just kick in more.
As there is no formal agreement between the parties, the Curling Club can really do whatever they want without Town input or approval…and we (the taxpayers) are on the hook.
We are proponents of the Curling Club and its renovations, it was much needed and necessary and we would expect the Curling Club to regulate them professionally on the project…BUT, the Towns job is to act in the best interest of all the taxpayers and has an obligation to protect us and our interests in all its dealings.
Do they really need to be told not to enter into multi million dollar agreements without a formal Agreement? C’mon guys, it’s really not that hard.