No comment on Civic Centre overruns

City Hall

SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – The recladding project at city hall will not be finished for another 6 months and even more over budget.

$1.3 million is the growing total of cost overruns for the project. It was put on the consent agenda at Monday night’s council meeting.

The consent agenda is basically a part of the agenda all council members have a chance go comment on but in the end gets passed.

Councillors commented on a lot of things on this agenda last night, Algoma University’s city studio program, sidewalks and a fire service bylaw. They had nothing to add or say to the overruns.

Who is being held accountable? What can be done to stop this from happening in the future?

These are questions no one asked but we have heard from the public.

The total cost is now estimated to be $8.2 million. The original bid was $6.9 million.

This is still less than if the second highest bidder but it is getting closer to that amount.

The city points to the fact the second-highest bidder is now almost out of business as a way of saying we are happy we didn’t go with them.

The council continues to get updates on this project. The new projected completion is May-June of 2021.


  1. first of all. If you had contracted out someone to do work for you and they kept adding costs, you probably wouldn’t just sit there and accept such. Why does this city not hold anyone accountable for these occurrences. the extra costs just slide on through council continuously? The city council is just as at fault as those doing the work. they buy property they dont need for prices 5 times what they’re worth. they pay over 1.5 million more for a project that is overdue more than a year. continuous neglect of duty. They spent a pile of time talking about creating walking trails when all they have to do is plow some of the hub trails or sidewalks that are already there. (banging head on wall here). I didn’t catch any discussion on the fire bylaw which is probably a pretty important thing considering it tells us exactly what our firefighters do for us. Not surprising as even though city council was responsible to create this document, I would bet not many of them even know what it says or means. I see a new firehall still remaining in the capital works. What’s wrong with the downtown firehall that can’t be upgraded? Surely upgrading the building and property would be cheaper than obtaining more land and building new. That’s is what they did up on Old Garden River Road, wasn’t it?

  2. So, you let the contract to the lowest bidder, then he sub-contracts to someone else that works even cheaper than he does, so he can make a profit, then this guy puts out the work to a third or fourth level contractor that usually doesn’t have a clue what’s involved, and then the whole house of cards starts to fall apart… These tenders should go to local contractors who employ local people and if it gets screwed up, at least you know who to go after…But then again, that’s just the way it goes in the Soo.. Half the city is out of work, but let’s give this job to someone from who knows where, because some consultant from TO says we should…

  3. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who knows how the city of Sault Ste. Marie operates.
    They charge higher taxes than almost all other cities yet are always teetering on the edge of being broke because of poor management. They hire questionable contractors to try and save but it usually ends up costing substantially more.

    They’ve chintzed on the roads for decades and now they can never catch up, time or money wise. We’ve been driving and destroying our new vehicles on bumps and millions of potholes that should have been fixed 10-30 years ago. The sub-par patching that lasts three days is not the answer but here is no budget to ever fix them all properly after under budgeting every year for 30 years.

    Back to the overrun in city hall repair costs, no surprise there at all, get ready for more services to be cut or cut back and your already ridiculously high taxes to go up once again.

    That’s how they roll and it won’t change in the foreseeable future.

  4. The problem is 2 fold. The RFP/tender system and the lack of experts (or at the very least utilization of them) on staff.

    Lowest tender makes cutting corners and planning for ideal situations. Staff should have some expertise to know and research (or at least question) complications and their costs rather than guestimating x percent. (eg we rip this stuff off the building, what’s the worst thing we can find and how much will it cost?)

    Somewhat bad luck with the subcontractor, but they you go lowest bidder, you likely end up with a company hiring who ever will work cheap.

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