Friday, September 21, 2018

Sarnia “dismisses” Golder as Centennial Park remediation project cost soars to $13.5M

Sarnia has dismissed the multinational corporation that administered the Centennial Park project and has opted to oversee construction itself of the final remaining piece – the long-delayed boat launch in Sarnia Bay.

Following a closed-door meeting Monday council emerged to say it had decided to “dismiss” Golder Associates as the contract administrator due to “unsatisfactory performance.”

But before being shown the door, Golder and its subsidiaries did OK by the city, earning more than $1 million from the project, according to Coun. Dave Boushy.

“It seems to me, right from the beginning, we were on the wrong path,” Boushy told The Journal.

“Golder was responsible for some of it but we (city council) could have said to them, ‘You’re spending too much money.’”

Council also voted Monday to pay Bre-Ex Construction up to $682,000 in additional funding to complete the stalled boat ramps in Sarnia Bay.

The new spending was approved in 6-2 vote, with Boushy and Mayor Mike Bradley opposed.

Bre-Ex tried three times last fall to build cofferdams in the bay, and each time water seeped back in before the dock foundation could be installed.

It would cost another $2.23 million to build boat ramps “in the dry,” according to a new staff estimate. So the city is instead proceeding with an alternative design that doesn’t require “dewatering” the site.

If the weather cooperates the launch could be ready in 10 to 12 weeks, city staff say.

The total bill for Centennial Park has now reached $13.54 million — including $2.6 million for new infrastructure. That’s more than twice the original estimate, and doesn’t include what the city owes Bridgeview Marina for providing the community with interim boating services this year.

Mayor Bradley said an independent, third party audit is needed to determine what went wrong.

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