One of our readers made the following suggestion to Clr. Jason Farr on The Hamiltonian:
Clr Farr, Respectfully, you do need to give the residents of Hamilton the date
and time of this board meeting you have mentioned, and whether this is a
per-scheduled meeting or an extraordinary board meeting to discuss this
situation. Also, pending this meeting, given the gravity of the claims, the
board members and its chair do have access to phones, emails and skype to
communicate with each other in order to generate a proper and prompt response.
Clr. Chad's response is simply not acceptable by any stretch of imagination.
Hamilton's residents (your employers), do not have to be kept waiting and
guessing, until you'll get around to meeting up.
The Hamiltonian asked Clr. Farr if he could respond to the the request posted above. Clr, Farr responded as follows (His email and the email he forwarded from Mr. Rossini, is posted in its entirety)
Fair enough, please see the email sent the other day from our head of Finance answering to some of the claims made in the Bay Observer. And, thank you for your input:
"Subject: Bay Observer Article on City Funding of HWT and HCA projects
I am writing to clarify 3 issues that involve the City with respect to the above article:
1. The Waterfront Trail Project - Hamilton Waterfront Trust (HWT) 2. The Lakeland Centre Project - Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) 3. City Purchasing Policy
1. The Waterfront Trail Project
The Waterfront trail was a City of Hamilton project constructed by the HWT for the City. The project was originally approved by Council in January of 2002 under COW Report 02-003 Item 6. The funding and payments to the HWT were finalized and amended through Council approval of FCS05036 in Feb/March of 2005. The Council approved project budget was $2,130,000 and encompassed several different components including washrooms, small and large rest areas, sun shelters, parking, fencing, Van Wagners Road nodal improvements, landscaping, public art features as well as the trail itself.
The article states that the City paid $681,531 for "a washroom". Staff have pulled and reviewed our financial records and we can confirm that while we did pay $681,531 for a component of the overall $2.13 million budget this particular project component included:
• the canal washroom• new parking lot (approx. 200)• bench nodes• a small rest area• a large rest area• Van Wagners Node improvements; and• HWT's project management charge/fee for the entire $2.130 million project The project costs paid to the HWT came in at budget ie $2.130 million while the total project cost to the City came in slightly over budget at $2.193 million because it also included some other City costs e.g., surveys and project management.
2. The Lakeland Centre Project
The Lakeland Centre Project was a Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) project (ie not a City budgeted or managed project). Council approved a capital grant to the HCA in the 2002 City Capital Budget for $825,000 to fund the original project budget of $2.3 million. Through FCS004029 in Feb/March of 2004, Council approved a repayable loan in the amount of $840,000 at 4.92% interest rate to the HCA to help fund their share of the project. The project budget was also revised to $2.965 million. The loan has since been repaid with interest.
Since this was not a City managed project and Council provided a fixed capital grant and loan (which was repaid), City staff do not have the final cost expenditures.
3. City Purchasing Policy
When the City contracted with the HWT to build the Waterfront Trail Project, the City through Public Works entered into a project/construction agreement with the HWT. The agreement did not require the HWT to follow the City's Purchasing Policies. As an separate entity, the HWT has its own purchasing policies and procedures.
I trust this helps clarify matters.