Is the city going to bury some news on the legal fight over the pier in the hoopla that will surrounding its opening? Stay tuned.

This is the path people will walk down to get to the pier.  Contractors are completing the work and, unless there is a catastrophe, the pier will open on the 14th.  Expensive – yes but worth the wait.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  May 31, 2013.  There appears to be some movement on the legal side of things with the pier.  It has been suggested to us that we might want to pay close attention to some comments, maybe even an announcement at the city council meeting June 10, that there is a resolution to a part of the legal dispute.

The city is in the middle of a law suite with a number of people, the most significant of which are the original contractor,  Harm Schilthuis and Sons Ltd. and AECOM, who were the contract administrators when the original contractor,  Harm Schilthuis and Sons Ltd., walked off the site.

There are millions of dollars on the table with this one.  While AECOM is going to be difficult to settle with, but we could be wrong on this, it is understood that HSS was interested in settling with the city but that opportunity may have passed.

The city is gearing up for a grand opening and really wishes the focus could be on the hoopla and speeches and create an opportunity for people to walk out onto the pier and see the structure for what it is – a really magnificent addition to the city.

All true – but to be as late as this project has been and to have to deal with the huge cost over runs, never mind the ton of money that is going to be spent on the lawyers the city has had to hire, is not being accountable or transparent.

Heads should roll for this one – unfortunately the heads that oversaw this monumental screw up have quietly left town.  Of the team that over saw this – there is just one poor soul left at city hall.  Tom Eichenbaum, Director of Engineering and the guy that has been sitting through hours of “discovery” with lawyers grilling him on who did what when.

All the others have found a more comfortable place to add to their pensions.         

The city recently set aside $10,000 to cover the cost of specialized communications people – the kind that know how to handle sticky legal problems.

There appeared to be an opportunity to settle with the original contractor but that slipped away; someone convinced the city this wasn’t a good idea.


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