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Clarity on pier costs

There have been conflicting reports recently on the original cost of the pier, ranging from $9.2m to $12.5m. The anticipated costs when council first approved the project in 2006 were $6.2m. The table below charts the increases over time, sourced completely from city documents. There are important lessons here for all of us to ensure future projects are costed appropriately from the beginning, and stay on budget.

DateTotal Budget, including contingencyCity's costing explanationSource
March 2006$6.2 millionIncludes $900K contingency, which is publicStaff report E16/06 dated Feb. 16, 2006
July 2006$7.7 millionConstruction tenders come back higher than expected
Other items remain the same, including $900K contingency fund included in budget, but now confidential
Staff report DI9/06, July 31, 2006
August 2006$8.1 millionCouncil extends length of pier; adds lighting
Other items remain the same, including $900K contingency fund included in budget
City Council minutes, Aug 8, 2006, pg. 42:
January 2008$8.1 millionStaff report says confidential contingency is “within the approved council upset amount” of the project, reported as $8.1 million. COMSERV 1/08, Jan. 2, 2008, p.4,
September 2008$8.1 millionStaff report says confidential contingency is “within the total approved amount” of the project, reported as $8.1 million.COMSERV 10/08, Sept. 4, 2008, p. 3:
January 2009$8.1 millionStaff report says confidential contingency is “within the total approved amount” of the project, reported as $8.1 million.Report E 21/09, Jan. 23, 2009, p. 5
June 2009$8.1 millionSentences on confidential contingency deleted.Report E41/09, June 8, 2009, p. 4
Sept. 1 2009$8.1 million
Plus confidential contingency
Residents told in a power point at a public meeting that the contingency is above the previously reported “total” budget.Power Point presentation
Sept. 25 2009$8.1 million
+ $900K contingency
+ $250K contingency

$9.25 million total
Contingency amount revealed: $900K, same as original budget when it was included in the total budget.
Now the contingency is counted as “over and above” the budget
Additional $250K contingency approved
Report E58/09 Sept. 25, 2009; pp5-7

Council minutes Oct. 19, 2009, p. 8
June 22 2011$15.0 millionContingency amount included at $900k
two optional added: additional paving around the pier walkway and ramp to the sand beach on the west side of the pier
Report E-29-11 June 2, 2011

Council minutes July 4, 2011, p. 9

This chart originally appeared on A Better Burlington website May 12th, 2010

Pier costs have increased from $6.2 million to $15M - excluding legal costs and staff time
Pier costs have increased from $6.2 million to $15M – excluding legal costs and staff time

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.

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