It’s going to be a busy day at city hall.
All councillors will finally be brought up to date on the police headquarters project.
And, at some point today, Mayor Sam Katz is expected to announce who is joining his executive policy committee, to replace councillors Dan Vandal and Scott Fielding.
The police headquarters project – the former Canada Post complex on Graham Avenue -- has ben plagued with cost over-runs and this morning, at a council seminar, they’ll learn what the new price tag is going to be.
The original budget to purchase and renovate the complex was set at $140.5 million; but that climbed to $168 million in 2010, and to $194 million in 2011 – a figure that was supposed to be guaranteed.
However, that guaranteed price was only based on incomplete and partial plans. A source said after the Winnipeg police service finalized how they expected the building to be designed, the price tag was going to go up again.
Katz and members of EPC were privately briefed Wednesday on the building-plan changes and the potential cost overruns. The rest of council will be informed this morning.
Katz said Thursday that any further project increases would not impact any other department budget, including police.
For EPC, Katz needs to replace Vandal and Fielding: Fielding quit over a week ago in a dispute with Katz and other EPC members over the pending 2014 budget increase and for what he said was mismanagement of several issues. Fielding was chair of the protection and community services committee. It’s believed he’s mulling a run for mayor or for the Conservatives in the next provincial election.
Vandal said he would be leaving because he’s not running for council in 2014, and instead wants to concentrate his efforts on his ward and preparations to run for the Liberals in the next federal election.
Vandal was the chairman of the infrastructure and public works committee.