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Pier delayed to 2013 unless new solution found

Next update: April 20, Community Services Com., 6:30pm, City Hall

Burlington's unfinished pier - winterYou could have heard a pin drop in council chambers when senior staff revealed in March that the retender package for the pier likely won’t go to market till mid-July, with tenders not expected back till Sept. 26. That means this process will cost the city a year. Remember the previous council voted to retender last September!

I didn’t vote to retender the pier because of these kinds of delays. I’m also concerned about continuing our legal battle, which may end up being a Pyrrhic victory: we could win, but at what cost to delays, transparency and legal fees?

That said, now that the path has been chosen by council, I have pledged to do what I can to see this project to a successful completion. To that end, I have requested that every Community Services Committee include public updates on where we’re at, which was unanimously supported by my colleagues. This will increase transparency and allow council to take a more active role in overseeing this project and moving it forward.

My take: I’m glad council and the public will now get regularly scheduled updates on the pier. I still hold out hope that the parties to this dispute will come back to the negotiating table before the tender goes out, and offer a reasonable solution to finish the pier, either with the current contractor or a consortium of other contractors. I’ve always preferred a negotiated settlement to a litigated one – so long as it protects taxpayers and delivers a quality, cost-effective project.

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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