Governments to talk through Placentia bridge fee

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Mayor says it’s full steam ahead on construction in the meantime

Talks are ongoing over construction permits for a replacement for the Placentia lift bridge. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Staff with the provincial Department of Transportation and Works and the Town of Placentia will sit down to talk through a dispute over construction permitting for the new lift bridge in Placentia.

Placentia Mayor Bill Hogan said Monday a meeting is set to happen within the next couple of days.

As Hogan told The Telegram last week, the town is demanding about $400,000 for municipal permits for the replacement of the Sir Ambrose Shea Lift Bridge. 

To date, both the company that was awarded the tender for the project and the provincial government have refused to pay.

Provincial Minister of Transportation and Works Paul Davis said he received communication from Hogan indicating “no permit, no work.”

Despite the hard line in his messages, Hogan now says there will be no stoppage of work, at least not at this point.

He characterized discussions with the minister in the past few days as agreeing to disagree on whether or not municipal permits are required. He also said the dispute may mellow, depending on how discussions go between staff from both sides in the next two days.

He said the town council will ultimately determine how things progress.

“They’re the deciders. I’m just the mouthpiece,” he said with a laugh.

The mayor also said the current position of his government should be made clear: the town currently expects permit fees to be paid.

On the other hand, the transportation minister said, staff from his department have already been in contact with town staff on the bridge project. He said the upcoming meeting will be about maintaining lines of communication.

Davis reiterated the provincial government’s position that no fee will be paid, noting there is no record of fees for construction permits ever being paid to a provincial municipality for a road infrastructure project.

H.J. O’Connell Construction Ltd. was officially awarded the $40.6-million Placentia bridge contract by the provincial government on March 5. The company has declined comment on the permit flap.

Organizations: Department of Transportation and Works, The Telegram, H.J. O’Connell Construction

Geographic location: Placentia

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Recent comments

  • Ed. Anstey
    May 04, 2013 - 17:59

    roy you hit it right on the head, and if they want the bridge they should be willing to put some money into the project not take it out. what a bunch of ungrateful bastards.

  • Jay
    May 01, 2013 - 07:41

    This certainly is a money (and political) grab. The "lobster syndrome" is alive, well, and prospering at the municipal level, and something should be done about it. There are far too many municipalities in the province fighting jealously with their neighbours over every asset this province has. For the most part, they've developed a mindset of jealousy, greed, lack of cooperation, and petty politics. All you hear from them is "give me the money." This often coming from 'towns" who can't even get enough people to run for office. They all want fire halls, for years, the province couldn't build a school in one community without offending another, so the schools often got built in the middle of nowhere. For years, we have tolerated a culture of "no co-oeration' with municipalities, and it has to stop. We are over-governed at the municipal level and at the provincial level, and we'll be in trouble until this basic systemic problem is resolved. The recent childish antics of Bill Hogan and his council personifies everything that's wrong with our system of government in this province

  • William
    April 30, 2013 - 22:14

    This is not a money grab. Municipalities get the shaft from the province every day. Municipalities pay the province provincial sales tax (feds rebate the GST to municipalities) on all goods, services and infrastructure. Province will not pay municipalities for any taxes on its properties, federal government does. Municipalities are charged permits and fees by the province every day. If someone if not getting treated fairly here, its the Town of Placentia, its municipalities.

  • Too Funny
    April 30, 2013 - 10:38

    Is this a joke? The bridge is almost solely for the benefit of Placentia and it doesn't look like they're contributing anything. Not only is the town council ungrateful but they're trying to find ways to grab more money from provincial tax payers.

  • roy
    April 30, 2013 - 07:00

    The only talk should be, DO YOU WANT THE BRIDGE OR NOT.