Pier steel beams on the way out. Perhaps heading for a razor blade factory somewhere.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, on  December 23, 2011  –  It’s been awhile since we’ve said anything about The Pier.  Hasn’t been much to say.  Now there is news.  Good news.


Sometimes he’s called the “stick handler”; sometimes they call him “the fixer”.  Most will tell you that if he says it’s going to get done – it will get done or someone will be answering to him pretty quick.  He’s not known for his diplomacy and during his time with Burlington as the General Manager Community Services he has stepped on a lot of toes – but he has gotten things done.  He has been given some of the most problematic files, which he never shirks – he just gets the job done.

The Pier became one of the pucks that Scott Stewart had to handle and when others at city hall missed a pass that was sent their way Stewart would circle back – pick up the puck and move it up the ice.

He has left the politics and the PR side of the Pier to others but been on the scene or behind the scene for every major problem that came up as this new Council got a firm grip on The Pier problem and convinced most of the citizens that they were doing the right thing.

That there is one big load of steel on its way out of the city to a home unknown to us as this point. But it isn't ours anymore. A Christmas wish come true for the folks in the city's engineering department.

The one thing Scott Stewart doesn’t do is give you a deadline that he knows just cannot be met.  So when people wanted to know when something was going to happen down at The Pier, Stewart would just say that things were on track.

He is still looking for a couple of light standards – but he knows where they are.

The last quarter of the year has been a tough one for both Stewart and his chief sidekick Kim Philips who GM’s things at the Budget and Corporate Services side of city hall.  The hospital and its problems are her domain; The Pier is Stewart’s.  Both will want to take some much deserved time away from their desks during the holidays.  Phillips however is wearing the Acting GM title until the first week in January so she can’t get too far away from things.  Stewart will be resting up and perhaps Phillips will get away for a bit after the holidays.

Stewart though has to be taking much satisfaction from the pictures that accompany this article.  He wouldn’t say when work would actually begin down on the waterfront because he knew that the moment he put a date on something – something would go wrong.  But earlier this week a flatbed trailer hauled away the first of the many steel beams that have to go before The Pier we have all been waiting for begins to take shape.

Construction crane delicately removes steel beams from the pier - fist major step into Phase two of what has been an expensive and politically damaging project for the city - but it is now under control and proceeding ahead of schedule.

A crane can be seen on the horizon down there swinging in and out between the flatbed truck and the structure that is currently in place; but coming out one big beam at a time.  The decent weather has allowed work crews to be on the site getting a bit of a head start on things.  If the weather holds up they just might manage to get it all out before the snow and the really freezing weather make the site unsafe for work crews.

So, come New Year’s Eve, Scott Stewart and Tom Eichenbaum, Director of Engineering for the city will be hoisting at least one to celebrate their success to this point and know that the hard part is behind them.  All they have to do now is approve requests for payment and make positive reports to city council.  Few taxpayers recognize either man should they pass them on the street – all should be happy they are in place.  Hoist more than one on the Eve fellas.

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