The Toronto Star today has a troubling article on the shelter being established in an existing building on Peter Street. The existing building which will house 40 people is costing over $11 million to renovate! To renovate! Check out what has cost extra:
Costs rose by $2.6 million largely due to construction changes made as the project was under way, including $1 million to rectify previously unknown site conditions; $789,000 for an elevator and $555,000 for changes requested by shelter officials….
Among the changes to accommodate site conditions was $338,000 to deal with asbestos and mould discovered after work began, which resulted in a 3-month delay. Also, problems with drains were found during construction that cost $315,000 to fix.
[A million dollars to fix site conditions? Did they not do an inspection? We put a full size elevator in the new friary to accommodate people with disabilities and it cost $65,ooo. Why did the city pay more than 10 times that?]
Decisions were made to add a green roof and rooftop smoking area but the 1920-vintage building required “significant structural changes” to support the weight. The final tally for the green roof and smoking area is about $1 million.
[A green roof for a building that can’t sustain it? What are they smoking on that roof?]
As people of faith we want civic government that is responsible, enlightened and willing to care especially for the most vulnerable… including caring for God’s creation… the earth itself. But we can also expect our city officials to watch carefully over the city’s finances. They have failed to do this. Once again we see a civic government that is so blinded by its own political and social agenda that it defies common sense and good management. Forget the school board, the Ontario government should step in and put the city under a trustee until we can elect a responsible mayor this Fall.