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Tbnewswatch Local News
Sunday May 24 2015
7:09 PM EDT
2014-07-21 at 11:41

Council Preview: Council to look at CN offer and options behind closed doors


The clock is ticking on CN Rail's final offer to the city regarding the James Street Swing Bridge. 

The company has given a deadline of 5 p.m. Tuesday to respond and city council will meet behind closed doors Monday evening to discuss their next move. 

City Manager Tim Commisso says they have at least four options, but won't disclose what they include.

CN has offered to pay 50 percent of the cost to improve the rail infrastructure to accommodate road traffic. 

It's believed the work could be completed for less than $3 million. 

But the proposal calls for the city to release CN from its obligations under the 1906 agreement.  The city believes its on solid legal ground with the agreement that the rail company has to maintain the bridge in perpetuity. 

Monday night, Council will also look at the future of the Fort William Gardens. 

A report recommends operating and managing the facility under the existing model until a final decision has been made on the proposed Event Centre.

(TBT News)

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Bob Roberts says:
Typical Tbay wait until the 11th hr and rack up some more legal costs. Call CN's bluff, go to court. Lawyers will like it all around. Ka Ching $$$. The Bridge is now a real problem that needs to be addressed, not a short term fix or solution to save face to appease a few potential voters. At some point in the near future the CN Rail portion probably won't be needed anymore, so the city and FWFN is in a precarious position. Time to go to the Feds and demand a new bridge and create some additional jobs for all your cronnie friends.
7/22/2014 10:46:39 AM
Curious says:
I would like to see this much effort from them put into finding who set the bridge ablaze and make them pay for it. Lots of folks never use the bridge anyway since it is a terrifying experience for some and they use the highway anyway. Really, people are getting too used to having everything so convenient that a 5 minute difference is something worth fighting over.
How many fewer vehicles would be going over the bridge if it wasn't for the cheap gas?
7/22/2014 8:35:00 AM
Jim Halpert says:
Any issue which has a legal component is held in camera / closed session. I understand that, 5pm tomorrow is coming fast and we need to know what council has decided.

"Monday night, Council will also look at the future of the Fort William Gardens.

A report recommends operating and managing the facility under the existing model until a final decision has been made on the proposed Event Centre."

I thought council had already made the final decision on the event centre? lol
7/21/2014 8:01:25 PM
progress now says:
Not so sure the city is correct. It may hinge on the definition of "vehicle" in 1906. It could mean a bicycle, horse drawn buggy, but, as Ford did not commence building their Model T until 1908, and if the contract doesn't say "motorized vehicle", maybe it isn't so cut and dried- it is for the law suit to decide.
In any case, in my opinion, if cars can share the train track it seems like a good solution for them but not for pedestrians. Youngsters who do not drive will likely use the train tracks to get into town and we will have a lot of accidents with young people walking on the tracks.
7/21/2014 7:34:08 PM
Secret Squirrel says:
More super secret meetings?

Why is secrecy required? This is an issue that pertains to all of us. What is the city scared of?
7/21/2014 2:20:16 PM
buzz says:
As this is a legal matter that will probably end up in court the meeting has to be held in camera. It will involve legal opinions and advice and the City does not want to tip its hand to CN should this end up in court. There is no conspirricy here just prudent standard operating procedures, when dealing with legal issues.
7/21/2014 4:27:08 PM
tsb says:
Same reason a divorce lawyer holds his practice in a private office, and not the Intercity food court...
7/21/2014 10:44:13 PM
Royalflush says:
On what grounds does CN feel that the city should pay half tne cost to facilitate vehicular traffic on their bridge? They are obligated to provide and maintain a roadway. Should they wish to be relieved of their obligation to maintain this roadway, then tbey should also relinquish their right to use the bridge for free, and have to pay a toll or fee to use it, which could then be applied by the city toward maintenance of the roadway. But CN would still be liable for maintenance of the rail part of the bridge.
7/21/2014 1:26:41 PM
Tbaylifer 1 says:
Why, for the past 100 years didn't the city leadership think about building its own bridge? Or why didn't the city leadership in the past 30 years ensure the necessary maintain of the bridge by CN? Maybe they were focused on a big ticket item rather then the big picture of running a city.
7/21/2014 12:51:23 PM
Joey_J says:
Yes I agree, somewhat. Prior councils didn't pay proper attention to crumbling infrastructure (IE FW Gardens, James Street Bridge) and let them fall into states of disrepair. Not sure what they were focused on, other than which direction the wind was blowing. So they left messes for this current council to clean up. And for the most part they have done a fine job planning on moving forward and most deserve our continuing support going forward when the election rolls around in October. Thanks for pointing out the inactivity of prior councils and making it obvious the priorities of our current sitting council
7/21/2014 2:07:36 PM
mystified says:
Release CN from any obligations, the city and FWFN assume liability for any injury or death associated from the publics use of this dinosaur. It's only used by those who don't support the merchants on the north side of the river.
7/21/2014 12:37:25 PM
dan dan says:
No taxpayer money to be spent on the CN bridge. If the city feels it is warranted, then demand that CN live up to its contractual obligations and take them to court. Otherwise, forget about the bridge.
7/21/2014 11:55:47 AM
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