By Stan Didzbalis
The City of Owen Sound is in the homestretch on renovations of City Hall, an estimated eight million dollar project. No surprise, the renovation project is behind schedule and will likely come in over budget.
Several months ago, the County of Grey office expansion was completed, to the tune of twelve million dollars.
Two significant government building expansions and renovations, which, combined, approach the total operating annual budget of the City of Owen Sound.
My view is that municipal staff and politicians are playing fast and loose with taxpayer dollars. How can they possibly justify these major renovations and expansions to house municipal employees in fine style when the population base they are meant to serve is barely growing at all, and certainly well below provincial growth averages.
Oh, I’ve heard the stories of municipal staff saying they were so cold in the winters they had to bring in space heaters. Or that they want to consolidate all staff under one roof, as if that will improve services to taxpayers.
Well, in the non-government world, the reality is that many employees work
with a space heater at their side, some even without air conditioning. And many of those buildings pre-date City Hall and the Grey County offices.
Seems our municipal leaders at the City and County level have some experience in pushing through costly renovations. Maybe Justin Trudeau should just hire our locals to fix the mess at 24 Sussex Drive.