Tbnewswatch Local News
Wednesday July 1 2015
8:57 PM EDT
2014-06-03 at 13:46

Phase 3 balloons

City manager Tim Commisso and Michael Smith, general manager of Facilities, Fleet and Transit confirmed on Tuesday administration is seeking an extra $1 million to be budgeted to Phase 3 of the event centre
Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
City manager Tim Commisso and Michael Smith, general manager of Facilities, Fleet and Transit confirmed on Tuesday administration is seeking an extra $1 million to be budgeted to Phase 3 of the event centre's feasability study.
By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY – The price tag of the event centre’s feasibility study is on the rise as the city manager warns time is starting to become of the essence.

Officials with the City of Thunder Bay on Tuesday confirmed they are requesting an additional $1 million be budgeted towards Phase 3 of the event and convention centre study, costs they say are necessary to have the project “shovel or project ready for funding applications to the federal and provincial governments in September.”

City manager Tim Commisso says administration will bring forward the recommendation to council at next Monday’s meeting and that the additional money be withdrawn from the Renew Thunder Bay reserve fund.

He added the Thunder Bay LIVE! partnership is not a permanent one.

“They’re not going to stay together if we keep punting this thing down the field. I think we have a year. If it doesn’t happen in a year the reality of the project is that it will be up to the next council to decide where they want to go,” Commisso said.

Despite the city facing projected budget overruns that have resulted in cuts across many departments, Commisso insists the request for more money has no bearing on this year’s bottom line. It will instead come from money that has been earmarked to create economic growth.

“The reality of this project is this is positioned as a project that may happen if there’s funding and that if it does happen our view is that it will be an economic driver. It’s an investment in the community,” Commisso said.

“Our operating budget is tight, there’s no question about it. But the money for the event centre is set aside in a reserve fund. That money in the reserve fund you wouldn’t normally use to fund your operating budget. Although they’re city dollars, they’re different purposes.”

Given the complexity and overall high-cost of the entire project, Commisso says such an increase is not “out of line” though he admits he is not happy about the prospect of asking for more money.

If approved, the increase would bring the cost of Phase 3 to $2.9 million and the total of all phases to $3.8 million, including funds received from FedNor and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund.

The additional money was presented as a necessity to try to bring both the provincial and federal governments on board and contribute funding.

The project does not have a hope of attracting senior levels of government if there are unanswered questions, Commisso said.

“I can guarantee it will never happen if you go forward without having all the due diligence done. We can’t just somehow hope that by throwing in a nice plan that it’s going to work. We have to have all the answers,” he said. 

Michael Smith, general manager of fleet, facilities and transit, said the cost includes nearly $400,000 towards design fees and costs related to the hydro substation on Camelot Street.

It also includes close to $240,000 towards areas such as environmental assessments, a geotechnical study, survey of the proposed site and additional parking and traffic studies. The proposed switch to on-street surface parking created the need for further examination to determine the implications.

Other costs include a little more than $220,000 for an owner’s representative as well as about $175,000 in legal fees involving the letter of intent with Thunder Bay LIVE!.

News of the increase caught at least one member of council off guard when asked about it following Monday night’s meeting.

“I think many members of council would share my surprise it is going up by such a large amount because I had been led to believe we were getting some figures that would lower the price,” Coun. Ken Boshcoff said.

“This is not what we expected in terms of how we staged this.”

Spending the money now on the studies will prevent surprise costs later, Commisso said.

“What we’re trying to do is put as much due diligence and resources up front so that if the project is approved we can have a firm budget,” Commisso said. “We are seeking a guaranteed maximum price. In order to do that, we need to do some of this work to confirm some of the pricing.”

In addition to the request, council will also hear the results of the Ipsos Reid event centre poll commissioned by the city. Also, the schematic design will be presented by a representative from BBB Architects.

The first report of the future use assessment for the Fort William Gardens will be heard at the meeting.


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Curious says:
Unfortunately I am one of the few taxpayers in this city. I guess all of us are going to have to suck it up - as this has only just begun folks! A long expensive road ahead!!
6/7/2014 1:56:41 PM
signman says:

Keep the seasonal workers repairing our roads and forget about YOUR LEAGACY PROJECT.


If you really care about this city GIVE IT UP!

Even if you force the city to build it



Our Hockey fans will be like the Bordercat baseball fans ABSENT!
LU'S attendance dropped this year to 2,200 the same as our last semi-pro team the Thunder Bay Senators. We can't even fill the 3,700 Fort William Gardens as hockey fans here have disappeared over the years.
Building an Event Centre here in Thunder Bay that we don't want and can't afford with a small population to support it is the last thing city taxpayers care about no matter how you try and spin it.

Try sending a survey out with the next tax bill in July and you will get a true indication, We don't want it!

6/7/2014 10:57:17 AM
dynamiter says:
They have to redesign the Electrical substation at a cost of $400 K- they are doing that now before the project is even totally approved?? It is going to cost at least 8 million to move the substation - a price tag that could jump with the cost to purchase additional land to house this thing and even more if they have to increase the distance from the existing station. Seems to me that this great experiment downtown is in the wrong location. WHY?
6/5/2014 9:30:07 AM
tiredofit says:
Ah hell, while we're at it, lets rebuild the amusement park at Chippeawa, make it big, like Wonderland, trust me, they will flock to the city in bus loads! When they finish there, they can go and drop a few grand the the Casino and then spend another $300-$400 a ticket (that's $1600 for a family of 4!) on a show at the new EnormoDome.

Trust me, build and they will come! Hey, why not build an real Nascar Track at the old Riverview Raceways, that will bring 1000's of rednecks from the US as well! More bus loads of Cash!! Man, this city is soooooo smart!

We seriously need to start electing these senior managers in the City, just like the American's do, most wouldn't last long that's for sure.
6/5/2014 9:20:49 AM
Pandora says:
This is a scene we will see over and over again!
6/4/2014 10:30:37 PM
Watchful says:
I believe this is a done deal, all the arguing and name calling will not change a thing. I will watch and see how this goes, wait for the finished product and then see if all the world will come to this town.

If it works great, if it caves, a piece of cake to sell and get out of Dodge. This is all a reminder of how we got Victoriaville, the Auditorium, the Complex etc etc.
Always a select few who get what they want, but as the saying goes, if I don't like it I can leave and that would not bug me much
6/4/2014 10:28:35 PM
Westfortforever says:
The rubber stamp council will do what ever Tim says.
6/4/2014 10:16:18 PM
publicdomain says:
Please let us vote on this like the democratic society we are supposed to live in. I'm sick of the arguing. Mr. Smith and company hasn't called my house and neither has the city of Thunder Bay, or the event centre team.

I have friends that are so "pro-event centre" that they will come out to your face and tell you that you're wrong and then proceed to tell you the reasons we need to have this event centre. Well friends, I graduated from college and university, and I disagree. I have my reasons and have stated them in previous posts which I see others have finally caught on to and include: city population, regional population, geographical location, demographic age range, and income. We should have been fundraising a decade before trying finance the project with heritage fund grants. At the very least we should have had money set aside to pay for the feasibility studies. Yes Thunder Bay needs to move forward, but I don't agree with this project at this time.
6/4/2014 7:43:19 PM
Wolfie says:
"At the very least we should have had money set aside to pay for the feasibility studies."

We do. It's called "Renew Thunder Bay".
6/5/2014 10:01:33 AM
Allan J. says:
Dead animals balloon too just before they explode and let all the stink out.

This thing is dead. It got hit by the freight train of reality and has been rotting in the ditches for too long already.

The best we can hope for now is a windy day to blow the stench far away so we don't have to suffer with this idiotic project any longer.

Someone send commisso over there to clean up. Its his mess after all.
6/4/2014 5:51:22 PM
Berzerker says:
this has gone too far already. there is no need for this and there is no need to continue paying for this process that nobody but commission asked for.

people need to be fired over this.
6/4/2014 5:15:08 PM
ou812 says:
what's a million more bucks if it lands us the event centre!


In 25 years I won't give a rat's ass how much over budget it was and most of you that are complain will be long gone.
6/4/2014 4:25:28 PM
signman says:
Sample Question-City Survey-Multiple Choice

In order to pay for the $100 million dollar proposed Event Centre and the million plus operating deficit each year are you willing to give up

A. one cup of coffee per day
B. two cups of coffee per day
C. three cups of coffee per day

Phase 3 started out at $930,000 thousand dollars in 2013 and if this request for another million dollars is approved the total cost of phase 3 will be approx. 3 million dollars.

At this rate the proposed Event Centre will cost city tax payers $300 million dollars.
( just like our hospital)

100 million dollars becomes 300 million dollars! Like David Copperfield would say this is just an iillusion !

Tim Commisso states it will be an economic driver.


1. It will drive taxes up!
2. And more people out of the city and
3. Out of their homes!

Tim Commisso states time is of the essence!


6/4/2014 4:06:59 PM
The Beaver..... says:
Be careful counting out all under age and over age we can hardly come up with 45.000 add 10.000 from the region now and then.. that is the Demographic
of this City. If you think the OLG is such a howling success just wander through there some time and see how we are missing the 100s of buses that where to come.. we are still waiting for them.
6/4/2014 3:58:00 PM
dank says:
Why are we blowing all this money when no guarantees of provical or federal funding have been given?? Oh ya- wrong location anyways!
6/4/2014 11:18:55 AM
S Duncan says:
Nice of you to delete my comment Jamie. There was nothing wrong with it according to your rules.

Why is it you allow countless comments attacking Ray and the Concerned Taxpayers but if anyone dare question SHIFT, OTB, or TBAYLIVE (all groups that have publically spoken in favour of this mess) you do not allow it?

I know you're biased in your love for the welfare dome, but I didn't know you were this unprofessional about it.

Its obvious only a miniscule few want this. Stop trying to hide from reality and lets let the chips fall on this discussion.

Nothing to hide... or is there?
6/4/2014 11:05:40 AM
Mazda323 says:
Hmmm, someone has yet another persona I see
6/4/2014 10:10:35 AM
bttnk says:
You can put me in the category of people surprised or caught off guard by this news. On the other hand, this amounts to less than 1% of total cost so I won't lose sleep over it if indeed it results in a more thorough proposal.

That said, who is responsible for contract management for these contracts? Therein lies the problem with all City run sourcing initiatives. The Supply Management division of the city is filled with incompetence to the highest degree. We see it over and over.
6/4/2014 9:10:06 AM
madtrapper says:
I cant even drive through our back laneway due to neglect of the city to maintain its own property. It hasn't been cleared in over 10 years but Westfort Joe tells me although he asked for it..... there is simply no money in the budget. NO support for this BS.
6/4/2014 7:45:32 AM
Rob20 says:
“What we’re trying to do is put as much due diligence and resources up front so that if the project is approved we can have a firm budget,” Commisso said. “We are seeking a guaranteed maximum price. In order to do that, we need to do some of this work to confirm some of the pricing.”

Name me one project in the city in the last 50 years that was a major building that came in on budget or where the contractor agreed to absorb any cost overruns. You can't. Because it has never happened. The city, meaning taxpayers, will be on the hook for any cost overruns just as they always are. Stop playing the political spin game, no one is buying it.
6/4/2014 6:01:26 AM
Eastender says:
Try 75 bucks a month and possibly more by the time this is over and done. You wont be able to afford to go to Timmies even once a month, unless you have a bottomless pit full of money. Nice for you, but us peons need to sweat for a cup of Timmies.
The arrogance of wealthy people.
6/4/2014 12:29:18 AM
tbay87 says:
Wow, great way to quiet the opposition: cost overruns before a shovel hits the ground or they've even agreed to build the thing.
6/3/2014 11:31:06 PM
fairlane says:
Remember when the Canada Games Complex was being built? How about the Community Auditorium? People said we didn't need it. It was way too expensive then.

Both projects were built over budget.

Now, try and think of our city without either of those two buildings.

30 years from now people will be saying the same thing about the Event Centre. No, we probably can't afford it....but we can't afford not to go ahead with it. The long term benefits to this community will be worth the cost.
6/3/2014 11:03:51 PM
analyst1 says:
How did it end up at exactly $1 million? Not $727,000 or $860,000. No, they managed to work it out to a nice even cool million. What a joke. $175,000 in legal fees JUST TO DO A STUDY!! Are you kidding? $220,000 for an ownner's represenative?? FOR A STUDY?? What does that even mean? Who is getting $220,000 and exactly what are they getting it for? Why are $400,000 in design fees and related costs part of a phase 3 study? And that is just for a tiny hydro substation. This is a joke. $125 million minimum by the time it is built.
6/3/2014 10:29:39 PM
S Duncan says:
After Hudak crushed those clowns in the debate tonight, its pretty safe to say the PCs wont be partaking in the funding of this mess either.

The feds already said a clear NO. The PCs will say NO, and the citizens of Thunder Bay are saying NO as well.

Why are these few people trying to push this through? Is it because of promises made to Delta hotels when the city was sooo desperate to find a willing hotelier to take over the future money losing hotel too?

Hobbs said before the "fix was in". Well, it looks like the "fix" got to him too.

Lets have some honesty for once!
6/3/2014 10:24:33 PM
Wolfie says:
Since everyone around here loves a good survey:


Apparently the Liberal lead has grown after last night.
6/4/2014 4:08:47 PM
S Duncan says:
the Toronto star is not news.

they are a left wing propaganda paper. Nobody takes the Star seriously except other left wing zealots.

That's like claiming the National Enquirer is a legitimate news source.

In fact, the Star is and has been paying for polls to show their liberals ahead but reality is they are far from it.

Besides the only poll that matters is on election day when the registered voters come out and tell the pollsters what's really going on.

that's why we need a plebiscite on this fiasco and not a poll of Commisso's best friends.

but you wouldn't like that , would you? You are scared of an actual vote and the actual results.
6/5/2014 5:13:11 PM
Wolfie says:
Right. If you don't like it, it can't be correct. Just like the LU survey on the events centre, and (likely) the city-commissioned survey on the same topic. I forgot, sorry.

That said though, current polls are showing a tighter race between PCs and Liberals now. Could go either way. I guess we will find out on Thursday, like you said. I'm glad I don't have a horse in the race.
6/8/2014 8:18:18 PM
coffeshoppolitician says:
would someone stop these crooks already. or is it "too big to fail"?
6/3/2014 8:09:13 PM
sickandtired says:
Here we go again ... Throw out a million here, a million there! This Council continues to firm up its reputation .............. :(
6/3/2014 7:30:10 PM
musicferret says:
Let the incompetence and overspending continue.

But don't worry: I'm SURE they'll get it right when it comes to actually building it. lol

We're already paying almost double any similar facility in Canada.... BEFORE the overruns. My guess? $150M+ when we're all said and done. Guess who pays for all the extra costs?
6/3/2014 7:29:25 PM
signman says:

This project has been botched from day one and is totally out or control and far beyond anything the taxpayers can stomach!

Councillor Larry Hebert stated at the March 17 2014 council meeting that he belongs to 6 or 7 survey groups, Ipsos being one of them. He corrects errors in their surveys at least 3 to 4 times a week.

The credibility of survey results is an issue Hebert stated, in light of how far out they were in predicting the provincial election results of Alberta and B.C. and some feel they absolutely ask the wrong questions.

( And can you believe our city hired Ipsos Reid at a cost of $20,000 to survey 1,000 of our 80,000 eleigible voters)

As Eastender previously stated the only scientific survey is a PLEBISCITE !

It is time for the Mayor, council and administration to wake up and start listening to the public before our city becomes another DETROIT!
6/3/2014 7:29:15 PM
Joey_J says:
Mr. Smith,

How about this for a plebiscite: File your nomination papers and run directly against Mayor Hobbs.

Let's see what your true support is in the most direct of ways.
6/7/2014 2:42:07 PM
Jon Powers says:
Onward! Upward! Build! Build!

Q: My goodness where did all that "Free" money the "City" got from The Feds+Ont go all-ready?

A: To the "Next Mistake By The Lake".

Q: What studies have been done to date?

A: Not the ones that matter?!


Q: How much money did the City Of Thunder Bay get for your groups rental of a "City" parking lot?

Who permitted you to be on "City Property" for your groups rally?

Answers Please!?

To All City Councilors!

Looks like you all are going to reopen the budget(Renew Thunder Bay) for this one!

Please tell us what is left in this "Slush" fund?

Onward! Upward! Build! Build!

Opportunity Thunder Bay Slogan

Great Story!
Get Posting Everybody!
6/3/2014 7:22:13 PM
crypto says:
I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.
6/3/2014 7:02:54 PM
CLETE says:
I thought all you conservatives in town would support this project. Isn't this part of the million jobs Tim Who Dat would create. Come on guys it's Tims job plan.
6/3/2014 6:52:47 PM
Shane Caker says:
Well that's it for me. I'm out. Does everybody realize that this cost over run is gonna cost every citizen of Thunder Bay 75 cents a month EACH for the entire next year? How can I survive without a third of a cup of Timmies per month for the next year?
6/3/2014 6:35:41 PM
Steamy says:
Well, if its such a small amount of money why don't you go down to city hall tomorrow and pay for it?

If you don't have the money, you can just take out a loan and make the payments every month.

Its no big deal, right? You should have no trouble covering it, right?
6/3/2014 11:32:39 PM
JYDOG says:
Actually Cane Shaker, if this joke project goes forward, and even if they get support of one of the upper levels, that's still 66 mil, and not every citizen pays taxes, so that'd be a minimum of $150/month/taxpayer, plus we're just spreading the tax love around then to others. Should we beg and get both levels of government to bite on this fool scheme, and we only pay 1/3 plus these bogus costs plus operating fees and overruns, it'll still be $100 a month per tax payer. It'd be a pretty serious caffeine addict to have that much tim's every month, but of course if this goes forward, lots of people would have to give up such discretionary spending. Why can't the hockey bullies and business backers that will benefit from this start buying bricks like was done for the auditorium by the symphony set?
6/4/2014 1:48:13 AM
musicferret says:
Don't you get it? This is almost 60% over budget just on this one little phase. This is a continuing trend in all projects in this city.

The estimated cost of the project is already nearly double any similar facility in Canada..... add into that cost overruns that this is pointing towards (like in every other project in this city) and we will be on the hook for many many many millions more $.

Thats not 1 timmies a month per person: Its a timmies per person per day for a year. Now multiply that times me, my wife and my kids..... thats a huge chunk of money.
6/4/2014 7:41:38 AM
Marak says:
...and it begins. Lets start hearing the excuses roll out. This is just the start folks, lets all watch the numbers climb!!! WOOHOO!!!
6/3/2014 6:18:21 PM
JYDOG says:
I sure hope I get a call from this survey, so I can loudly proclaim that I will never set foot inside this debacle for even to take a dump in the dump. I'm done with supporting the foolish schemes of these corporate thieves. DONE!!!!!!
6/3/2014 6:14:59 PM
Wolfie says:
The survey has been completed and the results will be presented to council on Monday.

Did you even read the article?
6/4/2014 8:43:34 AM
JYDOG says:
The only "Survey" that would have ever had any weight with the citizens, is a plebiscite. This sham phone survey is just that. They're obviously not going to report the votes from those that are as disgusted as I and everyone I've spoken to is, as their questions would not have been met kindly. When someone comes to your house to rob you of the little you have, yeah, they aren't met so kindly. This whole project needs to be shelved, and we need to book some real concerts for the gardens so people remember that it isn't as horrible as administration is erroneously leading us to believe with their propagandizing lies. Such a disgrace this all is. God, why can't we stop this insanity? HELLO COMMISSO - WE DON'T WANT THIS STOP LYING TO US!!!!!!!
6/4/2014 10:15:02 AM
nvjgu says:
Million bucks for what and that's just the study. Just imagine when they start to build.
6/3/2014 5:54:37 PM
sprintfan says:
The Waterfront hotel we won't own sure is costing us more everyday?
6/3/2014 5:00:38 PM
ring of fire dude says:
“This is not what we expected in terms of how we staged this.” Boshoff says . That statement says it all !
6/3/2014 4:46:51 PM
captain says:
I apologize to the above posters but I believe you missed the much larger picture here.

We cannot have a plebiscite because there is not enough information available to educate us uneducated and dopey voters, but the project needs to be shovel ready by September, 2 months before the city election in order to apply for funding.

Is this group for real.

Okay Mr. Mayor. Time to step up. Lets see exactly what you are made of.

Are you okay with this logic.

How about this.

If the government of Ontario commit 1/3 and the Federal Gov't commits 1/3 of the total funding, and the City portion of the funding does not exceed XXXXX dollars, are you in favour of an event centre.

Is that really so difficult???

6/3/2014 4:37:47 PM
EJ says:
hey - this is Thunder Bay. A handful of egos will do what they want and their friends will reap the benefits. We know the project will happen just the the waterfront. Price is not an obstacle in this town.
6/3/2014 4:28:28 PM
tothecloud says:
LOL, this will go over well.
6/3/2014 4:16:20 PM
Tbaylifer 1 says:
I believe that what administration is trying to do is make it impossible for the next city council to stop this madness. It is time for this council to wake up and see the money pit for what it is. Stop now.
6/3/2014 4:14:09 PM
jonthunder says:
I believe in today's news the city acknowledged it was behind on street line painting this year and it would be done in 2015. If we cannot afford paint and crew/truck time for such a needed safety job, how can we afford studies? Something has to give on the expenditure/priorities side.
6/3/2014 4:12:10 PM
Glyder says:
Ahh, but the bike lanes are being painted, those are the important ones. Who cares about regular road lines, as long as the bikers are happy.
6/4/2014 8:28:49 AM
aces & eights says:
The event center where hands get greased and the taxpayers get fleeced.
6/3/2014 3:51:34 PM
othersideofcoin says:
Lets get going and get this thing built. The longer we wait and drag the more it will cost.
6/3/2014 3:48:52 PM
Steamy says:
why have you been waiting?

if its such a great idea surely someone will bankroll you and you can build it yourself.

6/3/2014 7:46:21 PM
Wolfie says:
'Spending the money now on the studies will prevent surprise costs later, Commisso said.

“What we’re trying to do is put as much due diligence and resources up front so that if the project is approved we can have a firm budget,” Commisso said. “We are seeking a guaranteed maximum price. In order to do that, we need to do some of this work to confirm some of the pricing.”'

Fair enough. "Measure twice, cut once", as the saying goes.
6/3/2014 3:44:34 PM
S Duncan says:
this is a $3.8 million dollar measuring job that's only measuring 1000 people but making 110,000 people pay for it.

Does anybody else pay millions for "estimates" when they want some work done? or is it only Commieisso that thinks that's a good deal?
6/3/2014 5:35:46 PM
cob says:
The only way this will drive our economy is further into the red. Why do we need to spend $106M on an event centre when other cities have done it for far less, and why are we getting this single option rammed down our throats when Sudbury citizens will have 14 from which to choose? It's certainly not like we have the money burning a hole in our pocket and have to spend it.
6/3/2014 3:32:25 PM
joepublic says:
Let the wallets open.. this is just the beginning. Wait until you win the property tax increase for life for building it, not to mention the annual cost to rate payers to just keep the doors open. After that if you still have money left in your wallet I'm not sure you can afford the prices for hockey games and concerts? After all the artist that sell out to 25,000 seats in other cities are going to come here for 1/5th revenue and all the same effort. Meanwhile the roads and infrastructure in the downtown area will be degraded you wont have to worry about parking issues or traffic. The remaining businesses that were not chased away by taxes will quickly find that people are too broke to spend money in their stores.

Lastly, the handful of supporters can take pride in knowning that we could always use it for emergency housing.
6/3/2014 3:18:58 PM
westfort resident says:
The tail is indeed wagging the dog.
6/3/2014 3:12:38 PM
Robert Bob says:
Just love the fact that the Money Tree in Thunder Bay is called Renew Thunder Bay Reserve fund. Nothing like putting it too good use for the Event Centre Phase III study. Sign me up for any of those lucrative "consulting" opportunities to Spin some numbers and facts while producing favorable reports. Thunder Bay Live gets 220K, 175K for Legal fees for LOI, Ka-Ching. Tim Commisso and Michael Smith these guys are comedians. I really did just fall over in fits of laughter, I thought the Busker festival was in town today. Look the Project is going to Cost 100 Million dollars period. Cost overruns are not a problem, Increased Taxes are not a problem. Phase III study favorable to build the Event Center. Build it they will come. Hurry up already we are waiting for the next round of Tax increases. The "economic benefits" are just like the Ontario deficit. Oh wait there is the magical Renew Thunder Bay reserve fund money tree.
6/3/2014 3:06:57 PM
Dockboy says:
What a complete waste of a million dollars. Shake your heads!
6/3/2014 3:05:18 PM
maxumpat says:
Still waiting for the other levels of government for help and we are already going over budget.

What are those catch phrases again?

Oh yeah..."moving forward" "can't wait" "get shovels in ground" "my children need this to stay in this city" "no problem walking a mile at 30 below zero" "when can I buy season tickets"


6/3/2014 3:02:48 PM
JubJub says:
Can this city do anything on budget?

Paving roads, landscaping, snow removal, the marina - all over-budget. I have no confidence that this city and current council can organize a project like the event centre anywhere close to their budgeted amount. The renew fund will be dry before a shovel hits the ground.
6/3/2014 2:59:27 PM
mercy mercy me says:
if i managed my household and property the way Commisso manages our city, i would be considered 'toxic' by my neighbours and my family would declare me incompetent and assume power of attorney
6/3/2014 2:58:32 PM
RAM501 says:
I think it's a good idea to spend the money and have a quality reliable feasibility study. Council needs to do this right from the start to ensure we get the right Events Center to support the cultural and economic growth of our city.
6/3/2014 2:54:25 PM
fastball says:
Yes, it's a million dollars which gets eaten up by lawyers, studies and fees. Annoying. And the last thing this project needs is Badger's assertion that the whole thing has an odor about it spreading to the public in general. But realistically, it's ONE PERCENT of the project's budget.
But it's typical TBay to whine about the 1 percent of the picture...and meanwhile we procrastinate and bleat and wring our hands in anguish - and the opportunities slowly run through out fingers as others grow tired of waiting for us to finish our dithering.
6/3/2014 2:49:41 PM
S Duncan says:
Its not one million dollars.

Its $3.8 million already down the tubes for NOTHING but terrible artist renderings and backroom luncheons with Tim's friends in the hockey business.

If its only a small amount, why don't you cough it up? Where's your pro welfare dome friends with their money?

C'mon now big talkers... ante up!
6/3/2014 5:17:33 PM
fastball says:
Are you merely in love with your own catchphrases...or are you just numbed by the sheer repetition of them?
I, and others, have stated time and again that I'm willing to cough up tax money to get this thing going. I'm willing to contribute to any fundraising venture. I'll buy 50/50 tickets or hot dogs. I'm willing to buy tickets to shows and games and concerts to support the place - should it ever come to fruition.
What part of that is hard to understand?
You really don't know much about the process of applying for these things, do you? You need artists' renditions and studies. You need environmental reports and assessments. You need to get the right information into the hands of the right people at the right departments of the right agencies at the right time.
And as much as we all wish we could wave our magic wands and watch the little magic elves on their unicorns do all this work for free...some of us live in Real World Land, where stuff like this costs money.

6/3/2014 6:52:45 PM
Steamy says:
why are you waiting to cough up? this is your opportunity to pony up. Go give up the extra million right now!

Surely you can afford it. Didn't you and your merry band of 9 or 10 others put on a big festival of free hotdogs and clowns? Surely all of you are chomping at the bit to rush on down to city hall and hand over the cash.

What are you waiting for? Thunder Bay NEEDS this, don't they? If the majority of people are actually for this you should have no trouble setting up booths in the malls or wherever else you can and solicit money from the dozen or so other supporters that are lurking out there.

Why are you always waiting for other people to do things instead of doing them yourself?

Could it be you are just making excuses and you will never actually give up any money because you just want others to pay your way in?

If you know so much about this process and the city's experts are on it, how is it they missed the boat already by 33%?

I think its you who doesn't know anything.
6/3/2014 11:39:06 PM
ibrando says:
Fastball, it is you that doesn't really know much about the "process of applying for these things." In fact, I would say you know nothing at all. All you are doing is repeating what administration wants us all to believe...ya sheep! It's time for some independent thinkers to stop this madness and return the city to the people!
6/4/2014 6:50:54 AM
spazz says:
so enlighten us then ibrando! where are all of your "facts" about this process? you're big on calling sheep but you're a little shy on actual content. vitriol and ad hominem attacks are not a serious argument, they are just trolling.
6/4/2014 1:36:50 PM
ibrando says:
This is too easy, "Spazz", your username says it all. Thanks for the laugh. I am not offering "facts" about this process. I am just pointing out that someone is spewing out the same garbage as administration. Wow, you supporters sure are touchy.
6/4/2014 5:08:59 PM
fastball says:
ibrando - what part of my post was incorrect? Sorry, that's the process - like it or not. You gotta jump through these hoops to get anything done. Maybe you should ask anyone who's ever applied for a grant or a loan, or any other kind of process - you have to give them paperwork to prove you've done your homework. They're not handing money out just on your say-so.
I have a funny feeling that the phrase "independent thinkers" is a euphemism for "people that agree with me".
6/4/2014 7:09:19 PM
Steamy says:
Wasn't it you that kept going on and on about how these people are experts and they know what they are doing and the meager little citizen doesn't know anything?

This is not ONE PERCENT. This is 33% over budget just for the beginning study phase. If they cannot even manage to get this right you would have to be stupid to think they will get the whole mess right.

So at 33% over budget, the already over priced hockey rink will no longer be $106 million, it will be $140 million!!!!!

and you want to give these obviously over their heads idiots the OK for that?

you're not "trusting", you're just not too bright.
6/3/2014 7:44:12 PM
spazz says:
you're intentionaly misreading his comment so you can spout off. I think to anyone with any reading comprehension it's obvious that he is saying it is 1% of the total budget, not the "part of the budget that's for surveys". it would be nice if the "anti" side of this argument could dial back on calling people stupid a bit.
6/4/2014 1:41:26 PM
mr. realist says:
and you're not reading into his comment...while i'm sure he understands the 1%...he's actually looking at the micro aspect of it...he actually told you how he came up with the math...and yes-i would agree...we should be looking at 33% overbudget and stop downplaying that its JUST 1%
6/4/2014 2:36:31 PM
fastball says:
Um...as the guy who originally wrote the comment - I can tell you that my comment was indeed 1 percent of the total budget. I was looking at the big picture.
It's like not going ahead with buying a 35 thousand dollar car because there's a twenty-dollar add-on charge for submitting some paperwork for licensing. Yes, the added 20 dollars can be annoying...but at the end of the day, it's just a tiny chunk of the original cost.
6/4/2014 7:17:08 PM
Eastender says:
Fastball, what you fail to understand, is that we have done our due diligence and have realized that we cant afford the car in the first place.
If you cant afford the car, why run around to dealerships picking up brochures, and wasting their time talking about options.
It's you who just doesn't get it.
6/9/2014 9:46:45 AM
Eastender says:
The problem with this whole Multiplex, Hockey Rink, Event centre, concept is that it has been proposed as the answer to Thunder Bays econmic woes. This is an absolutely flawed premise. And an out and out lie. We are pretty much isolated from large groups of people with money, who will not travel to this area to attend hockey or anything else in large enough numbers to financially make a difference to the bottom line of this town.
This Centre will not, and cannot ever be the engine for econmic revival in this region. There simply is not the demographic in the region to spend the kind of money that would be required to make this Centre a success.
This project as proposed will only enrich the construction industry. When the dust settles and the bills start rolling in, we will be left holding the bag.
For this to be a success, you would have to be able to pack the house at least a couple of times a month, and thats never going to happen!
Lets be realistic, not delusional.
6/4/2014 2:07:32 PM
Papercut says:
Just what the heck is this:

"costs include a little more than $220,000 for an owner’s representative as well as about $175,000 in legal fees involving the letter of intent with Thunder Bay LIVE!"???????
6/3/2014 2:46:43 PM
MistakeByTheLake says:
Most TAXPAYERS already know that it's not feasible and is going to be a bloodsucker on us. the people who don't have to pay for it are the ones that are all for wasting these dollars.

Lets worry about the roads and community safety..you know...things that ACTUALLY matter.
6/3/2014 2:41:41 PM
gremlin says:
I'd rather spend the extra dollars now to do "due diligence" IF we can get a guarantee that "cost overruns" will be absorbed by the contractor.
6/3/2014 2:40:43 PM
S Duncan says:
don't fall for that nonsense gremlin, we all know its beyond our budget even as it is.

If it only cost $80 million and lost $1 mill/year we still CANNOT AFFORD IT.

this is just more distractions by the people orchestrating the shell game.
6/3/2014 5:38:33 PM
buddyrose says:
This is being considered, and yet Water Street crumbles away day by day and zero talk of fixing it up.
6/3/2014 2:35:21 PM
ibrando says:
So Commieisso is dead set against using reserve funds when snow removal goes over budget, he would rather put the screws to the taxpayers and raise taxes. Now when he needs an extra mil to further line the consultants pockets....no problem take it from the reserve fund. When will this end? Thunder Bay, wake up!
6/3/2014 2:35:05 PM
homelessteen says:
I'm pretty sure the only people not surprised about this are the taxpayers in this city.
6/3/2014 2:35:00 PM
Jkd says:
So nice to see that it is going to be cost more and more already. This really should be put to a vote as most people I have spoken with about this has the same opinion - "DON'T DO IT".
6/3/2014 2:19:00 PM
localguy says:
Still in planning stages and already blowing budgets!

And some people think once this event centre is built it'll stay out of the red! Pie in the sky dreams that will cost citizens years of operational dollars to keep this centre afloat.

Stopping the project now will even save money. If you disagree... well then, you foot the bill.
6/3/2014 2:16:50 PM
yqtyqt says:
Why is it that everything with this projects just screams "more money" and "cost overruns".

If this project comes in at (or lower than) $106,000,000, I'll be surprised.

I think it's time that Timmy comes clean here. Be honest, stop the BS. What is this going to cost Timmy.

Put it to a vote Council. What are you waiting for.
6/3/2014 1:56:06 PM
gotcha says:
We have got to find some people with moral fibre , integrity, and with no ultra ego to run in the upcoming election these shell games have been going on too long. These people would then have to clean house and have Employees with some kind of morals so that the Medicine Show would come to an end and Trust funds would be treated as Trust funds once again. There should be no more Shell Games (e.g Hospital, Auditorium, Games Complex, Marina Development)with weekly Capital Overruns and Yearly Operating Deficit surprises.
6/3/2014 3:37:12 PM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
This stinks more than three day old fish entrails.
6/3/2014 1:54:13 PM
eventscentre says:
Considering the cuts to the parkade and pedestrian walkway etc, this is peanuts. This doesn't stink at all. What stinks is that a miniscule minority is making a great big stink over something that is vital to Thunder Bay's survival. Very stinky.
6/3/2014 7:13:56 PM
Eastender says:
Every time a news item appears, regarding the event centre, there is an avalanche of comments that are vehemently opposed to this project going through, including hundreds of agrees. The pro side has their cheerleaders, but they certainly are outnumbered when it comes to numbers of posts and agrees.
Are you going to try to tell me that there is large majority of people in favor of this project who simply dont read or comment in TBNewswatch? Of course not, because they simply dont exist. Over the last several months,, it is blatantly obvious that there is an overwhelming majority of people opposed to this "Event Centre/mostly Hockey Arena" as indicated by all tne posts on this news site.
How can any councillor, mayor, or administrator deny this fierce opposition, and continue to promote the sinful waste of money on study after study.

This project is based on a blatant lie, that it will be "An economic driver for this city". Economics experts in other cities have denied this BS.
6/3/2014 8:25:21 PM
illuminati_nation says:
@eastender - If what you're saying is true, where were the thousands of people who supposedly demand a plebiscite on this issue? Why aren't there marches on city hall by hoards of naysayers who oppose this issue? The truth is that they don't exist. My guess is that what few do exist sit comfortably at home, hiding behind their keyboards, and throwing stones from the bushes.
6/3/2014 11:55:29 PM
Eastender says:
The fact of the matter is simply that you are in denial.
6/4/2014 9:25:35 AM
smartguy83 says:
I can say with 100% confidence that my closest friends who support the project do comment on here. Some people don't read the news and others get it from other sources.
6/4/2014 9:17:07 AM
grs says:
"Are you going to try to tell me that there is large majority of people in favor of this project who simply dont read or comment in TBNewswatch?"

Sort of. I'd like to tell you to get out of your perceived macrocosm that is TBNewswatch (no offense Leith) and see that there a much bigger city out there (as well as world, but let's take baby steps). Many people get their new from other sources and aren't on TBNewswatch.

From my perspective, there are around 50-100 or so regular commenters here on any given news article. Some users may be the same person with multiple accounts. The fact that you assume the majority of these users are against it and that this represents the majority of a city of over 100k people is ludicrous at best.

...and to hold the number of agrees as accurate, while decrying the LU survey as meaningless because it could be manipulated?

6/4/2014 9:49:37 AM
Eastender says:
I guess that you upper crust types are too good for TB newswatch. Just us low brow uneducated serfs read and comment on tnis site. All 100 of us.
All we're good for is to pay for your playground, but not to make decisions.
I believe the word you were looking for is microcosm, but I quibble.
Nevertheless, I would be inclined to believe it is you who dwells in a tiny microcosmic bubble world of entitlement and priviledge, where the money supply flows from a huge faucet without a shutoff valve.

As I and numerous other commenters have stated in previous posts regarding this bloated egomaniacal mega centre, you can have poll after poll, survey after survey, and the only legitimate opinion that will reveal the truth about how this town feels about this is a question on the October Ballot.
If you are so confident that its only a small minority that oppose this then what are you afraid of? Put the question on the. Ballot and shut us up, your going to win hands down aren't you?

6/4/2014 1:23:56 PM
grs says:

Perhaps re-read my comment.

The phrase is 'your perceived macrocosm that is TBNewswatch'...ie...you think TBNewswatch is the entire universe...

There are many people in this city that "simply dont [sic] read or comment in TBNewswatch". You don't seem to think so.

Nowhere did I make a distinction about income level or entitlement...

Nowhere did I state whether I'm for or against this project...

But thanks for assuming things about me in under 1000 characters of text on the internet.

Maybe you should take a break from your perceived macrocosm, that is in reality a microcosm (does that make sense now?) and try to think rationally. Because with your comments on here it's coming across as you're a little agitated.

Hopefully with these 829 characters you don't accuse me of rubbing shoulders with the Biebs.
6/4/2014 3:24:44 PM
Eastender says:
Macrocosm, microcosm, potato potawto.
6/4/2014 7:44:54 PM
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