Silver questions capital spending

Liberal Leader Sandy Silver wants to know why the government accepted a tender on a project that was 50 per cent over budget.

Liberal Leader Sandy Silver wants to know why the government accepted a tender on a project that was 50 per cent over budget.

Tender documents for a new Environment district office in Watson Lake estimate the value of the contract at $1.4 million. But the lowest bid on the project was $2.1 million, and the contract was awarded to that bidder.

“Can the minister explain how awarding this contract can be called good financial management?” asked Silver Monday.

Public Works Minister Wade Istchenko responded that the spending is reasonable.

“The cost of approximately $440 to $450 per square foot is considered reasonable for this type of commercial/industrial building in the design and the build model.”

On Tuesday, Silver asked about the new emergency services building on Two Mile Hill.

It came in 10 per cent over budget, said Silver, and a space in the building that had been designated for centralized dispatch remains unused.

The Yukon government has yet to reach a deal with the RCMP over moving dispatch to that space.

“Why is this space still vacant five months after the facility was opened?” asked Silver.

“While those discussions are underway with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, it would be premature to simply move ambulance dispatch staff up the hill because that would have a negative impact on operations,” responded Community Services Minister Brad Cathers.

Another use will be found for the space if an agreement with the RCMP can’t be reached, he said.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

jronson@yukon-news.com

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