Plaza funding amended in debate despite deputy CAO’s refusal to budge

Tom Vair
Tom Vair

Tom Vair, deputy CAO took questions from several councilors tonight about the escalating costs of the downtown plaza which is far over budget and far behind schedule at this point.

Vair, upon questioning admitted that the plaza is only about a third of the way complete when the scheduled date for completion has already passed. Completion will not be until at least the summer or later.

City councilor Marchy Bruni was the only councilor to specifically question Vair as to why the City is at fault for delays to the project, and why Avery Construction is forcing the City to pay.

Every question that city council put to Vair to amend the plaza project as to not raise the cost of the project, he replied that there would be no amendments to the plaza plan that could be made.

“Is this it?” city councilor Corey Gardi questioned Vair, as to if there would be more funding needed in the future again.

Bruni and city councilor Angela Caputo were poignant in their questions as to if funding was not approved tonight, what would happen to the project. Vair stated that the project would not see completion.

Councilor Ron Zagordo asked why other City projects that have seen the same supply chain delays from COVID, which have finished on budget, is this one way over budget.

“We have so many underutilized assets, how do we know this is not going to be a competing place and be underutilized,” Caputo also questioned Vair.

“After today, I will not approve another dollar,” said Gardi.

Councilor Lisa Vezeau-Allen tried to comfort the rest of council that there will be no more funding requests after today.

Mayor Matthew Shoemaker commented that the construction season was actually longer in 2022 as compared to normal years and asked for the reason for the delay.

He also questioned why the if the rink materials have not been delivered, can the City not cancel them but the city solicitor said those contracts were between Avery Construction and the supplier and the City could not affect that change.

Brook McIlroy, the firm that consulted on the plaza were paid $865,890 plus applicable HST.

The figure of $675,000 was approved of the $1.4-M with the ask that City staff look for ways to find cost savings.

The amount of $41,667 which was to be used this month for the grand opening of the plaza was also transferred to the plaza project and added to the $675,000 passed tonight.

Prior story:/city-wants-to-add-another-1-4-m-to-plaza-cancelling-dock-and-market-funding




  1. Gardi would have voted to approve the whole 1.4 million, he stated so in the meeting.
    There seems to be a power struggle between who runs the city, councilors or senior management. It is true who becomes the next CAO is going to be huge as to where this city goes and how it is run.

  2. Halt all work immediately, install a cardboard sign over the swamp naming it Provenzano’s Dump. He wanted a memorial to his “legacy”, well there it is

  3. I always thoughts co tracts were binding whether you make money or lose it?
    Obviously someone didn’t read the fine print on this.
    Also sounds like Avery is taking advantage of this fiasco that no one in this city ever wanted in the first place!

  4. The other website for our city first to publish but they never tell the full story and have noticed they are selective on story’s and when to and not to include names. To me makes me wonder if the city’s hands are not in with them.

Comments are closed.