Soil cleanup for new art gallery could cost millions
Thunder Bay city council is expected to find out in April how much it will cost to clean up the former waterfront industrial site where the new Thunder Bay Art Gallery will be built.
An administration report three years ago estimated the cost of mitigating the risks posed by contaminated soil will range between $250,000 and nearly $6 million.
Before the estimate is finalized, the city needs the provincial environment ministry to approve its Risk Assessment, and to issue a Certificate of Property Use which the province requires for the redevelopment of brownfield properties.
The city submitted a draft RA of the site to the Ministry of the Environment, Climate Change and Parks last year.
After the ministry requested revisions, an amended assessment was submitted in October 2019.
The RA is not publicly available yet, as the ministry is seeking clarification of some of the data the city provided in the document. – tbnewswatch
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The cost does not matter to the Thunder Bay Art Gallery people and consultants such as Brook McIlroy because over 90% of the project funding are taxpayer dollars. Believe me, if the TBAG crew had to raise most if not ALL of the money, then the cost of constructing this facility in this location would likely be a deal breaker.
The former Eaton’s building could have been purchased (yes, it was always for sale to anyone who was interested) and renovated instead. A better location. Might even be a cost savings. Imagine that. Fiscal responsibility.
Sadly, this option was not considered. The City of Thunder Bay should have required consideration of several location options as a requirement to get taxpayer funding support.
Maybe renovating the Eaton’s building would have been shown to cost more than building new. We will never know. An opportunity missed. Remember how the term ‘infill’ was the rallying cry for the supporters of Water Street location for the Event Centre? Bring foot traffic to the downtown north core? What happened to that construction philosophy?
This entire projects stinks.