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2014-07-22 at MIDNIGHT

Unanimous decision

By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
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The mayor can't say much about city council's decision on the James Street swing bridge other than it was unanimous.

Last week CN gave the city a 5 p.m. Tuesday deadline to respond to an offer that the company would pay 50 per cent, up to a maximum of $1.5 million, for a short-term solution to get the bridge re-opened to vehicle traffic.

Council met behind closed doors with three lawyers Monday night for more than two hours before emerging with a unanimous decision. But Hobbs said the city wants to tell the company what that response is before telling the media, including whether or not the decision will get the bridge re-opened.

"CN went public with their letter, that's not the way we do business we're going to advise them of our decision first," he said.

Hobbs wouldn't say what the tone of the meeting was, what council's concerns were or why it took more than two hours to reach the decision.

"I can't talk about closed session issues, I apologize that's the way it is," he said.

"We used up all the time wisely."

The city will meet with media at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

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Comments

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nvjgu says:
I'm guessing there going to sue CN for 750 million bucks maybe more over the 1906 agreement.
7/22/2014 6:14:55 AM
livewire says:
I hope we the Tax payers don't have to dig deeper into our pockets again when this should be a Federal issue!
7/22/2014 7:26:28 AM
Ozone says:
Yet another closed door meeting by our elected city reps. Vote this lot out of office in October.
7/22/2014 7:26:52 AM
Rob20 says:
Prediction – the mayor and city Council will advise us that they accepted the $1.5 million offer with the interest of the people on the reserve, their safety, and the interest of getting the business flowing properly, is the most important topic within this issue. And that has nothing to do with them saving their political hides and the October election. LOL NOT! I personally don't think they had a leg to stand on as far as pushing litigation, CN made some pretty salient points with the expected lifespan of a bridge and their responsibility due to that age and the risk factors. I have no lawyer but I think most judges would probably side with them
7/22/2014 7:33:14 AM
Joey_J says:
1.5 million for a short term solution. I am interested in the long term game plan.
7/22/2014 7:33:54 AM
eventscentre says:
CN went public with their offer because YOU, Hobbs, have been flapping your gums over this ordeal for months. Why are you treating everyone like they are stupid?
7/22/2014 7:53:40 AM
fairlane says:
kina like a "major conteset announcement" Big hype, little excitement.
7/22/2014 8:07:53 AM
S Duncan says:
So a private company can go public with all the details of their offer...

...but the city council which is supposed to represent the public cannot discuss any of the details of what we are on the hook for?

Folks, if you cannot see that this council lives in bizarro world, theres no helping you.

Id like to know what we are offering before we offer it so I could contact my councillor and have my input BEFORE we go down these roads.

This "do first" then "reveal later" tactic is getting very old. (and really expensive for us tax payers)
7/22/2014 8:17:17 AM
Tachyion says:
Well said S Duncan. The ongoing saga of politicians believing that the public they serve are not intelligent enough to understand issues that can affect their taxes. "Hobbs and council" KNOW what is best for you, your input is not required.....hence the secrecy. Mayor and council need an overhaul......some stay, hopefully most go in the upcoming election.
7/22/2014 10:42:32 AM
Lally says:
You said it yourself. The council represents the public. You knew this issue was on the table. You had plenty of opportunity to contact your councillor to tell them your opinion of what should be done.

Nothing would ever happen if city council had to stop and ask for a public consultation every time they had a decision to make. Every time they *do* ask for public input, official opinion is sparse, but grumbling on this site is overwhelming.
7/22/2014 12:30:45 PM
The Beaver..... says:
Now you got CN real scared ...yep you got them on the run now. And in five years "if ever" it will go to Court. The City's legal bill will not be a very small one. Three lawyers paid or by the Taxpayer.
7/22/2014 8:55:23 AM
smartguy83 says:
LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The deal was CN cover legal costs. So there goes that...
7/22/2014 9:36:46 AM
Tannoy says:
City tax dollars better not be going to fix a CN bridge!
7/22/2014 9:12:47 AM
Papercut says:
HEY.....

I bet they will suggest a WIND TURBINE on the ajacent land to pay for the bridge.

7/22/2014 9:22:03 AM
canuckchick1980 says:
Why haven't we heard the progress on catching whomever set this fire? Or has that been lost in all the debate?
7/22/2014 9:30:56 AM
Shane Caker says:
Most likely it was a couple of kids who set the bridge of fire as it was set just before Halloween, a traditional time for such "pranks". What are they gonna do if they do catch them. Make them pay for the repairs with their paper route money?
7/22/2014 1:18:32 PM
fastball says:
Everything is negotiable. Try to get CN to beef up their 50 percent offer - and then get the FN to contribute the rest (maybe the city can go 20 percent as well). Put a toll on the bridge so that if you don't want to drive an extra 5-odd minutes and use the regular highway, you can pay for the convenience.
But I do enjoy (sarcasm) the comments here from all the Monday morning quarterbacks.
7/22/2014 10:04:12 AM
outofgas says:
Interesting that when CN went to the media, that is badd. When City and FN does, that is okay. And Hobbs the chief, wanted to "educate" the public, and FN said CN was trespassing thru the media. I thought negotiations were to be done directly. I think I heard that from someone.
7/22/2014 10:14:42 AM
Bob Roberts says:
Closed meeting and only 3 lawyers needed for 2 hrs. Lawsuit coming after the City tells CN go ahead and repair the Bridge we will see you in court. Don't be bullying the City of Thunder Bay, Mayor Hobbs will show you CN who is in charge. That special reserve fund going to dry up some time soon with all the legal action going on in Thunder Bay. Long term solution is needed, I smell another consulting report. I still think the new bridge should a tourist showcase like bigger and better than the new bridge going in Nipegon for 100 million dollars.
7/22/2014 10:19:59 AM
opinions2014 says:
CN is a private company so tax dollars wont be used to fix or whatever they are going to do with the bridge...always MY TAX DOLLARS..get over it already..we all pay taxes, we need to, to run the country. So quit whining about paying taxes...
7/22/2014 10:28:29 AM
TBAY Opinion says:
I am not a fan of In Camera meetings. However in this particularly case it makes sense. Negotiations through the media always fail.
I would however like full disclosure of the facts after a conclusion is reached.

Its is never good when you have private bridges, things get complicated. A quick media search about the privately owed bridge linking International Falls, Minnesota and Fort Francis, Ontario reveals that has been a news item for almost 50 years. And that isn't an obscure rail bridge linking a Native Band to a town. It is an International gateway. So I am not optimistic about a quick resolution over the Kam river.

In the mean time the City should have a traffic light installed on # 61 before someone is killed at that intersection. That is a quick inexpensive fix, and a responsible one.
7/22/2014 10:48:49 AM
jamisuplate says:
Get it open. Get the traffic flowing. At any cost. Please. Get on with it so everyone else can forget about it in a month and go on to find something else to complain about. Maybe the lack of parking, the event centre, closing streets for car-free days, murder rates, potholes and standing up at concerts.
7/22/2014 10:57:39 AM
keiths31 says:
This isn't just a 'reserve' issue. There is a large subdivision of the city along Mountain Road, plus access to Chippewa Park. The added traffic at Chippewa Road and Highway 61 is at dangerous levels due to the congestion. If this was any other part of the city (say Current River) that was dealing with this the citizens would rally together. Sad really...
7/22/2014 11:41:30 AM
livewire says:
P.S. I hope Thunder Bay First Nations are also willing to dish out some $ Dollars $ also!
7/22/2014 12:02:19 PM
enos012 says:
Considering it's thier businesses that are hurting badly....
7/22/2014 1:30:44 PM
mitsukosouma says:
I wish all of you would just shut up sometimes. You can wait til 1, you're not gonna die or anything. Geez.
7/22/2014 12:12:25 PM
glock9 says:
Just thrilled that our city's tax dollars are going to fix some other companies bridge, a bridge that I don't even care about and will never use anyways, ridiculous.
7/22/2014 12:58:31 PM
Dan Dan says:
Didn't everyone catch that CN will pay up to a MAXIMUM of 1.5 million? That means, under the proposed agreement, the city could be on the hook for a huge dollar amount.

I sincerely hope they did not agree to this. I've supported this council up to now, but if they cave on this, they're done!
7/22/2014 1:19:25 PM
Tachyion says:
It would appear that as of 45 minutes ago the CN offer was rejected by what we call " Our Municipal Government".
7/22/2014 2:23:39 PM
sprintfan says:
"CN went public with their letter, that's not the way we do business we're going to advise them of our decision first," he said. Hmmm? Didn't someone's "loose lips" lead CN to this "Final Offer"?
7/22/2014 3:51:20 PM
hounddog says:
Well folks there you have it...... once again City Council has made a decision that affects all of us and none of us had a say. I myself am not too affected by the bridge never opening again, but I feel for those that work on that side that are being affected daily. It was the time for council to put up and shut up and do what's best for all , and they once again have failed us. I as a taxpayer do not agree with us paying the whole bill for the bridge but would have been open if we were paying a part.
7/22/2014 3:53:20 PM
laurie says:
get funding and build a new one and charge a toll for those who use it ?
7/22/2014 9:17:07 PM
boofer69 says:
people... stop saying toll.
7/23/2014 11:20:38 AM
varga says:
The public release of this "offer" from CN was power play to try and squeeze our council into accepting their ultimatum! Kudos to the city for standing its ground. That is the kind of council I will always support. The agreement is in place and CN is bound by it whether they like it or not. If council had agreed to this I would have used it as precedent to get out of any contracts I am currently signed into. CN did a real bad faith negotiation tactic here and should be exposed for it instead of people attacking our council for doing what is right! rest assured if it ever comes to the city fixing the bridge and we try to deny rail traffic on CN will be there will all sorts of case law to support their side of the agreement! Wake up people!
7/24/2014 10:40:39 AM
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