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City looks at cancelling two contracts awarded to Shindico

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City hall will explore the prospect of cancelling a pair of property-management contracts currently awarded to Shindico Realty.

Council's property and development committee voted unanimously this morning to ask city property staff to look into the ramifications of cancelling Shindico's contracts to manage the former Canada Post Building on Graham Avenue and the former Dominion Bridge site -- and potentially tendering both contracts.

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The city purchased the Canada Post Building for $29.25 million and is in the process of converting the south side into a new police headquarters. Shindico earns approximately $154,000 a year to manage the tower portion of the property, which the city may sell in the future.

The city acquired the Dominion Bridge site in a tax sale and plans to sell it off.

Shindico won the right to manage both properties after ranking first in a city request for qualifications (RFQ) for real-estate services.

Colin Craig of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and former mayoral advisor Brian Kelcey appeared before council's property committee to argue the RFQ did not explicitly call for property-management services and claimed this precluded the possibility of other firms bidding on the contracts.

Committee chairman Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan) initially planned to move a motion calling on future RFQs to have more explicit language, but withdrew that motion after city property director Barry Thorgrimson assured him no new contracts would be awarded under the existing RFQ.

Transcona Coun. Russ Wyatt then moved the motion to explore cancelling the Canada Post and Dominion Bridge contracts. Wyatt, Browaty, Grant Nordman (St. Charles) and Mike Pagtakhan (Point Douglas) all voted in favour of the plan.

The discussion comes as the city prepares for an audit of major real estate transactions over the past five years and possibly earlier.

Council voted unanimously to approve the audit in September.

History

Updated on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 11:21 AM CDT: corrects typo

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