Monday, July 17, 2006

Letter to City Council regarding allocation of Provincial Community Share 2006 Grant for May 8, 2006, meeting

May 4, 2006

His Worship the Mayor
And Members of City Council
City Hall
Saskatoon, SK
S7K 0J5

Dear Mayor Atchison and Members of Council:

Re: Allocation of Provincial Community Share 2006 Grant

City council is being asked for direction on how to allocate the $6,736,841 unconditional capital funding grant the city received from the province under the Community Share 2006 Program. City administration's report identifies two projects from which to choose: Competitive Aquatic Facility (Blairmore Development) and the Victoria Bridge Rehabilitation.

Wardrop Engineering’s Victoria Bridge Inspection and Assessment Report (February 2006) provided the city with 50-year rehabilitation options for MS 50 and MS 200 design vehicles. Both were subjected to a Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) to identify the most cost effective long-term solution. The LCCA results show that the MS 50 option is cheaper yet the more expensive MS 200 option is used by administration in its report. No explanation why is given.

Wardrop’s report shows an estimated cost for the MS 50 option as $7,582,000. When the provincial community share grant ($6,736,841) and council’s previously approved Victoria Bridge 20-year interim rehabilitation funding ($798,000) are subtracted the shortfall is $47,159.

In its report city administration rounded the shortfall for the MS 200 option up to $306,000. (It should be noted, however, that city administration used a figure of $7.804 million as the estimated cost for the MS 200 option, while the Wardrop report shows $7.704 million so administrations numbers appear to be inflated by $100,000. No explanation why is given.)

As stated in administrations report the shortfall for the New Competitive Aquatic Facility is $300,000 and does not include the cost of a walking track.

The city recently issued a tender for structural steel repair and reinforcement work on the Victoria Bridge. The notice appeared in the April 22, 2006 StarPhoenix with a closing date of May 16, 2006. Would it not be worth considering completely rehabilitating the historic bridge now given that most of the money required appears to be available?

Thank you very much for your time.


Joe Kuchta
Saskatoon, SK


Saskatoon Heritage Society
Saskatchewan Architectural Heritage Society
Heritage Canada Foundation
Lori Coolican, The StarPhoenix


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