commentary & opinions on the sports and political scene
Category Archives: Town Council Report
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.
January 18, 2015Posted by on
MPMP is a performance measurement and reporting system that promotes local government transparency and accountability. It also provides municipalities with useful data to make informed municipal service level decisions while optimizing available resources.
We’ve been provided with some very interesting information with regards to Collingwood’s performance against its peers based on the 2011 survey results. While we constantly here about the costs to operate programs and facilities in Collingwood, the measure of efficiency is the true indicator of how we are doing with what we have.
Keep in mind this is BEFORE the new library and Central Park arena projects, which will decrease performance numbers even further with regards to efficiency.
Category Cost per person Median Difference
Indoor Recreation Facilities 75.36 52.60 22.76 more
Parks, Programs, Facilities 253.79 100.46 153.33 more
Library Services 68.48 35.79 32.69 more
Library Service per use 2.96 1.19 1.77 more
Library Uses per person 23 30 7 less
Indoor Recreational Sq ft (per 1000) 2931 4884 1953
- We pay almost $23 more per person for 40 % less indoor recreational space…YET WE BUILD ANOTHER ONE ANYWAYS
- We pay well more than double for our parks, programs and facilities than average
- We pay almost double for library services than average comparable town, we pay more than double for our per visit costs to the library and we have 40% less use of the library…the old library…YET WE BUILT A NEW ONE ANYWAYS !
This information is shockingly embarrassing for the Parks and Recreation Dept and Library people at the town level. Both programs are completely inefficient compared to similar communities in Ontario and yet projects like the new library and Central arena are pushed ahead with no consideration for how well they are being operated.
January 13, 2015Posted by on
Who messed up the design of the new Central Park Arena ?
According to Sprung officials, the builder of the facility, it certainly wasn’t them. They were specific in their response that town officials choose not to follow the Sprung interior layout and went with their own plans !
A quick look at the Sprung arena layout for a single pad ice is below:
At question is the exit from the ice surface and the location of the dressing rooms. As clearly seen the professional design calls for two separate exits from the ice surface to separated dressing room areas. For those in the hockey world, the reason is obvious; to reduce the interaction and potential violence between players leaving and entering the ice.
Our state of the art Central Park facility though has one ice exit leading to dressing rooms all in very close proximity.
Imagine two teenage players being ejected for fighting in a highly aggressive playoff game…then being sent out to the same area unattended? What does common sense tell us is going to happen? You got it…..round two of the fight ! How about 40 testosterone filled teenagers all sitting within earshot of each other after a game? Yikes….
When questioned about design a Hockey Canada representative said rooms should absolutely be properly separated in the arena design. An expert from Ice Rink Solutions, a leading consultant in arena design and building, said “there definitely should be separate ice exits for each team” when posed the design question.
We did a quick survey of arenas throughout Ontario and could not find any new facilities sharing this odd design. We did find a few older arenas, but none of these hosted competitive hockey or were multi use facilities.
So the question is who in the towns recreational facility department approved or changed the professional design Sprung and almost every other consultant uses in their projects? And why…. other than saving a few thousand in plumbing and electrical costs on a multi-million dollar project ?
My guess is someone in the town wanted to have their thumbprint on this project that didn’t have the expertise or foresight to future use.
September 29, 2011Posted by on
Morgan Ian Adams recently commented on his run in with the parking by law officials of Collingwood, check out http://eastendunderground.wordpress.com/ for his thoughts.
We as well have felt the wrath of these walking crusaders for justice. Just the other week I popped into the drug store on Hurontario and was dinged with a ticket. I wasnt in there for more than five minutes Read more of this post
September 27, 2011Posted by on
Peter Dunbar who is leading the Wasaga Beach strategic plan for recreational services was on the Chats program this morning giving an update. They seem to be moving strongly forward in getting public and department input into the future needs of the town.
Their survey response is at almost 3% and they continue to have public open house Read more of this post
September 23, 2011Posted by on
We assume as the current outdoor ( and uncovered for those who were wondering) rink is a huge money loser for the town and that there is a desperate need for a multi use facility….this project is something to show us that there is something going on in that office.
Two locations have been chosen…….
September 21, 2011Posted by on
While Collingwood and Wasaga Beach minor hockey players have been through tryouts and are kicking off their seasons this week, Stayner Minor Hockey Association players are still wearing roller blades and the Jr C Siskins are begging for ice time from surrounding communities.
We wonder why Stayner council year after year refuses to put the ice into the community center at a reasonable time of year to support SMHA and the Siskins. SMHA used to have ice
September 16, 2011Posted by on
We commented in an earlier post that council jumped the gun by approving a feasibility study on the Central Park redevelopment project before they received their own steering committees recommendation report.
Enterprise Bulliten Editor Morgan Ian Adams commented that while Councilor Chadwick was the only dissenting vote on moving ahead with the study, he was incorrect in doing so because council had voted in an earlier session to go ahead with said study.
September 15, 2011Posted by on
The Montreal Canadians training camp Oct 3-5th may be closed to the public, but if you’re the right town staff member you can enjoy the action. The Town confirmed with us that municipal staff organizing the event, arena staff and council members all have access to camp.
Earlier this week Thornbury had the NHL referee camp in town. They held open practices and games for the public, brought the Stanley Cup to town and allowed photos and held an open house presentation at Town Hall. That’s a town that puts the community first.
How hard would it have been to arrange an hour for minor hockey coaches to watch the Habs practice, organize an autograph session for minor hockey players,
September 13, 2011Posted by on
Finally the Town of Collingwood has released its survey results with regards to the Central Park redevelopment project. As we detailed in our previous post, the steering committee for the project was tasked with getting the public’s input.
With a whopping 219 responses, 177 from Collingwood….that’s .08% of the population for all you nay sayers that think the committee isn’t getting a real feel for the community wishes.
Here’s what they found and our comments….