Mayor Stephen Mandel tore into a city administrator yesterday over escalating costs of a project to refurbish a five hectare area near the Belvedere LRT station in northeast Edmonton.
Costs to revitalize the commercial and residential property along Fort Road have risen to $65 million. It was first approved in 2003 for $19.9 million. The latest increase is for $16.9 million, including $6.7 million to build a required noise reduction fence along the CN railway—a cost that wasn’t factored into early budgets.
“I think this is a good project, and I’ve supported it all along, but at some point in time we have to send the message that you have to do your job right,” Mandel said to Rick Daviss, the city’s manager of land and buildings.
Daviss had presented a report to the city’s Transportation and Public Works Committee, appealing for more funds for the Fort Road project, called Station Pointe.
“I really respect Mr. Daviss, and I know you know your business, but somewhere along the way this has got to stop,” Mandel said. “It’s very frustrating that, as a city, we will now be spending $65 million for a widened road and the possibility of some housing.”