Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

On the carpet

  • Print

A report intended to explain how construction of a fire hall on a Portage Avenue cloverleaf blew its budget instead has fuelled the controversy.

Coun. Paula Havixbeck, chairwoman of council's protection committee, has called a meeting Monday to probe how Station No. 11's cost exploded from $4.3 million to $6.5 million. The station was expanded by 3,500 square feet to include a museum council was unaware of, and when the museum was scratched, a hazardous materials unit, aerial ladder and training facility were quickly added.

There are a string of administrators who should be on the hot seat Monday, including, and especially, chief administrative officer Phil Sheegl. But right beside him is fire Chief Reid Douglas. The report states the fire chief had the authority to order the changes and believed he could find the money within the $15 million set aside for the construction of four fire halls.

This is the $15-million budget that was broken up so each project came in under $5 million and thereby did not need council's approval. It's incredible a department head could have sole authority to sign significant change orders to the scope of a multimillion-dollar project. It's incredible that after breaking up a $15-million budget to skirt council approval, the fire chief then re-bundled them to cover Station No. 11's expansion.

In 2007, the CAO's department hired a manager of capital projects to scrutinize such projects. Ms. Havixbeck must ask where was the oversight of the fire-hall program; whether the CAO stamped Station No. 11's expansion and get a full explanation of how it was thought a project could grow by 33 per cent without going over budget.

A 2008 auditor's report detailed numerous gaps in the city's project management process. The CAO's office said a new capital project manager would fill them. Where was the manager on the fire-halls file? There's a lot of detail to be laid out, but the oversight issue is Mr. Sheegl's to explain.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien, Shannon Sampert, and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 27, 2012 A16

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart: God Rest Ye Premier Selinger

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 070619 LIGHTNING ILLUMINATES AN ABANDONED GRAIN ELEVATOR IN THE VILLAGE OF SANFORD ABOUT 10PM TUESDAY NIGHT AS A LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS PASSED NEAR WINNIPEG JUST TO THE NORTH OF THIS  SITE.
  • A group of Horese pose for the camera in the early evening light at Southcreek Stables in Stl Norbert Wednessday. Sept  14, 2011 (RUTH BONNEVILLE) / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on the Jets so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google