I can’t even imagine what the reaction would be at Ottawa City Hall if staff forgot to include the cost of artwork in the LRT plan, like they apparently did in Calgary.
Moreover, blowing the budget by $35 million would surely put Ottawa’s LRT plans off track. An example like Calgary’s keeps people asking Mayor Jim Watson and staff what would happen if Ottawa experiences cost overruns.
The city was faced with the question again last week when we met with officials about the $2.1-billion LRT plan.
Deputy city manager Nancy Schepers answered: “We are structuring (the construction contract) fixed price and through this process we have identified there are risks the city will retain, like property acquisition for instance, but we have made it very clear in the process, these are the risks you are assuming and you, proponent, need to put in your proposal with the full understanding that if that risk manifests itself, you’re on the hook for it. That’s how we’re protecting the city’s interests.”
The City of Ottawa, by the way, has earmarked $10 million for LRT art and here’s what Watson had to say about that.
Picture: The west leg of Calgary’s LRT is currently under construction. Photo by the Calgary Sun’s Jim Wells.