Letters of the week – July 26

Bridges, blood donations and more spurred on letters to the editor this week.

Resident wants bridge answers

To the Editor,

In recent months, a great deal of press time and city council business have been dedicated to the issue of transparency in Port Alberni. I would propose that the “widening” of the Gertrude Street bridge could be a test of the transparency issue.

The bridge has been reopened for a few months—time enough for final invoices to be submitted by the parties involved in the rebuild. Cheques have been issued from the city finance department to those companies. I refer to the AV News of March 3 and it states the “original bid by K and G Installations was $249,500” and this was accepted by the city.

City engineer Guy Cicon is quoted in the same article that “the work is being done at a cost of $347,000 up from the original $249,500 due to forced relocation of a Fortis gas line and extra work on the bridge underside.”

I walk the Kitsuksis Dyke by the bridge and I noticed before the refit how close the gas line was to the area to be widened. I deal with Fortis and the city on many occasions when I make a BC One Call prior to excavations— did the engineering department take the gas line location into account before accepting the K and G bid of $249,500?

Did K and G ask for more money to cover any increased costs?

Was an independent structural engineer consulted to assess the integrity of a 60-year-old bridge prior to putting out tenders?

Does the city have a “cost plus” payment option in their contracts for such a project?

City engineer Guy Cicon is quoted in the March 3 article, “any work identified outside of the original contract would result in increased costs for the city.” In the interest of transparency I would like to see a response from the city regarding:

1. The final payment to K and G Installations.

2. The cost to move the gas line.

3. Total wages paid to city employees for any work on the bridge.

4. How many other companies submitted quotes for the work.

5. The total final costs to taxpayers, compared to the original bid of $249,500 as stated in the AV News of March 3 and what was the per cent cost overrun for the project.

D. Squires,

Port Alberni

Grove parking needs attention

To the Editor,

Driving through Cathedral Grove today brought to mind the protesters a number of years ago who thwarted plans for safer parking off of the highway in the park. Where are they now?

I truly wish they would witness the unsafe mess that exists there today.  Will someone have to be killed or seriously injured before the issue comes to the forefront again?

I truly hope not.

Doug Ferguson,

Saanich/ Sproat Lake

 

Metlakatla has no LNG agreement

To the Editor,

Re: Tree-spikers cling to Lelu Island (B.C. Views, July 20).

The Metlakatla First Nation does not have a benefit agreement signed with Pacific NorthWest LNG for the proposed Lelu Island project.

Unfortunately, factually incorrect information was published in several Black Press newspapers across the province, stating that “The Metlakatla, Kitselas, Kitsumkalum and Gitxaala bands have benefit agreements for the project.”

There is a term sheet signed that could lead to an Impact Benefit Agreement in the future, but to state that a benefits agreement has been signed is not true.

Shaun Thomas,

communications,

Metlakatla

First Nation

Alberni steps up with blood donations

To the Editor,

On behalf of Canadian Blood Services and our territory manager, Ann Chabert, I would like to thank Port Alberni residents who support Canadian patients by giving blood.

In late April, we announced the need for 200,000 blood donations by July. Thousands of eligible donors answered the call for support and helped us collect more than 193,000 donations.  Approximately 250 donations were collected in Port Alberni, which helped us meet hospital demand.

Thank you.

David Patterson,

director, donor relations,

BC and Yukon Canadian Blood Services

 

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