Mayor says town will sit down with provincial government
Staff with the provincial Department of Transportation and the Town of Placentia will sit down within the next two days to talk through an existing dispute over permitting for the construction of a new lift bridge in Placentia, according to Placentia’s mayor.
As mayor Bill 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 tasked with the project and the provincial government have refused to pay.
As The Telegram has reported, the 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 said this morning there will be no stoppage of work on the project, 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.
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Hogan said the town council as a whole will ultimately determine how things move forward.
“They’re the deciders. I’m just the mouth piece,” he said with a laugh.
He also said the current position should be clear: the town currently expects permit fees to be covered.
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.
An update on some subcontract work on the bridge project to date can be found in today’s print and digital editions of The Telegram.