Town of St. Anthony being sued over Polar Centre work

Published on August 31, 2013

A St. John’s contractor is suing the Town of St. Anthony for a million dollars in a dispute over work done on the town’s new arena.

The First Canadian Group, an ND Dobbin company, was hired in March 2011 to provide site service and interior work for the Polar Centre, St. Anthony’s new recreation and convention centre, part of the project’s third phase of construction.

According to a statement of claim filed with Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court on Aug. 14, delays in completing the first two phases of construction meant First Canadian was unable to start work in March as planned, with work to be completed the following November, avoiding construction work done during winter months.

“As a result of this delayed start, the contract work had to be carried out during the winter and the plaintiff consequently incurred substantial extra costs which could not have been reasonably avoided,” reads the claim.

First Canadian also says that upon starting excavation work, the company discovered subsurface conditions that “differed materially from those indicated in the contract documents” or as were relayed to them by town council, including oversized rocks and boulders and bedrock, which resulted in extra costs to remove the rock and importing fill to replace it.

In all, First Canadian says it’s owed $1,060,407 from the town. Lawyer Kate O’Brien of law firm O’Brien Anthony White, representing First Canadian, said the matter is subject to mediation.

“I think our client is really hopeful that the mediation process will bring it to a resolution,” she said.

Brad Dobbin, president of the ND Dobbin Group, said mediation is lined up with an industry panel to try to “troubleshoot” some of the issues.

“We’re looking forward, actually, to getting some resolution. It’s dragged on for a very long time; a couple of years this has been ongoing.”

St. Anthony Mayor Ernest Simms declined to comment on the lawsuit.

“I’ve been advised not to say anything by our lawyers,” he said. “I really can’t make a comment. I know what’s going on, but I can’t comment on things.”

Twitter: @TelegramDaniel