PLEASE EXCUSE THE POSSIBLE
Do you remember when you bought your last home?
I bet you forgot about the horrible colour scheme, the wallpaper that was torn and ripped. And the carpeting, why how could anyone live with shag carpets when they had dogs! Remember that you wanted to get in there right after the deal was signed to rip out everything and redecorate. Until your lawyer absolutely forbade you from doing so.
Those lawyers are such stick-in-the-muds you thought at the time. Sure, if something went wrong, you would be out of all of that redocrating money but what could possibly go wrong!
And why anyone would want to waste a few hundred dollars on a home inspection. Of course your lawyer made you insert that silly clause in the Offer of Purchase and Sale to allow you to do so. Obviously, you did not know that much about wiring and plumbing so that when the home inspector told you that you could NOT get home insurance until you ripped out the old wiring and put in new pipes, you could have hugged your solicitor since you got the house price reduced to cover the thousands of dollars in extra costs!
I am reminded by all of this because of two deals that again could cost the City greatly since they could fall apart.
College's takeover of Cleary delayed
We learned that the City-St. Clair deal has a problem: the deal is delayed until March "so the college can complete a thorough inspection of the building." Funny, the deal was to have been completed in October so why is the College now hiring "building inspectors to look at the Cleary's roof and other areas to satisfy its board of governors there are no structural issues that need to be addressed before the college takes over." Why wasn't that done before? Did something prompt the College to take this step?
We learned that the deal is NOT signed yet. What if there are structural problems, then what? Is the deal dead? What would the costs of repair be? Who pays? Would it be re-negotiated? Can you imagine if St. Clair threatened to walk away from it at this time!
Another question is whether the City knew about possible defects. If it did not, then were the facilities people doing their job. If it did, did the City tell St. Clair about it? If not, why not?
What a mess this could have been if the College had started renovations and then decided not to complete the deal because of structural problems. This ties into a second story:
Consent to Enter, Permission to Access Rear Lands Through Site, Multi-Plex Arena Complex and Letter of Intent to PCR Contractors
That mouthful is on the City Agenda for Monday and is tied into the East end arena.
Apparently there is this huge urgency to get started before anything is signed and before the City's due diligence is completed. You see everything must get completed for some reason before the fall of 2008. Oh I know it is for the Spitfires' new hockey season but I do not see them putting their name on the dotted line to share the risk.
Approval is required by Council to allow the City to start work on the Fahri lands on Lauzon for the arena before the land transaction is completed and to enter into a Letter of Intent with PCR to allow them to finalize drawings before the signing of the Full Design/Build Contract and before interim financing of several million dollars is approved by Council.
Now there is this comment put in on the bottom of Page 2 of the Administration Report that if the project is halted, then the City might have full liability for costs such as material costs and architectural fees, the amount of which Administration graciously did not include so as to worry the Councillors.
Why can you imagine if PCR ordered all of the materials worth millions and then the deal fell apart! Oh my! We would have to wait until someone else wanted to buy a 1999 Port Huron designed arena complex to try and get our money back.
I can imagine all kinds of reasons for the project being halted from a lawsuit over legality of the process to environmental to not being able to negotiate a contract. The City is absolutely negotiating from a position of weakness once it has committed to pay for fees and materials as Administration is urging Council to do.
I really have trouble believing that anyone on Council will approve such a request. Why even our Legal Technocrat would never I am sure allow someone to do what is being suggested if he were in private practice in the simplest of house deals never mind a mega-million dollar deal.
Come on, I wonder if this is being done as a pressure play on Councillors to ensure that the arena is built no matter what happens with Project Ice Track. Once Councillors sign off on what is being proposed, then we are stuck. Even if the Purchasing By-law is subsequently invoked or if the deal falls apart, the City would be exposed to damages claims in the millions of dollars.
Forget about the Cleary deal that may fall apart, Councillors. You will be urged to sign off on the arena deal because, of course, nothing can go wrong, go wrong, go wrong....