Another police HQ cost overrun: City's legal department wants additional $270K for lawyer fees

Another police HQ cost overrun: City's legal department wants additional $270K for lawyer fees

The City of Winnipeg is planning to spend nearly half a million dollars suing the construction and engineering firms that built the troubled downtown police headquarters.

Next Wednesday, council’s executive policy committee will consider a request to increase the legal services department’s budget by $270,000 for a sole-sourced contract with Marr Finlayson Pollock LLP. 

That’s the cost for this budget year’s worth of legal battles on the file. The total bill is pegged at $425,000. 

In May, the city filed a civil suit against Caspian Projects and engineering firm Adjeleian Allen Rubeli Ltd. — the company that designed the police HQ — alleging more than 40 deficiencies were discovered in the building after police moved into it two years ago.

Those are problems City of Winnipeg CAO Doug McNeil estimated would cost “north of $10 million” to fix.

The project’s cost ballooned to $214 million by its completion in 2016 (not including all financing charges) after being OK’ed in 2009 for $135 million

Caspian fired back against the city in its statement of defence, filed in June, saying it “exercised reasonable skill, care and diligence at all material times,” and arguing the contract said Caspian wouldn’t be held at fault for any problems with the design.

In a counterclaim, Caspian alleges the city still owes nearly $1.5 million, including interest, for work done on the police HQ, and is asking the court to order an additional $6.4 million in damages.

Winnipeg police HQ Contractor Caspian Projects Inc. filed a counterclaim against the City of Winnipeg alleging any problems with the building were the city’s fault. 0:57

Published at Thu, 05 Jul 2018 17:37:37 -0400