Price boost on city projects far outpaces inflation

Re: City eyes $124.4 million in capital projects (News, Feb. 9)

“The cost of the Dallas Road seawall balustrade repair was estimated at $525,000 last year, but is now pegged at $748,000.” What is happening here? The Canadian annual inflation rate is about 2.4 per cent, yet this price increase is over 42 per cent. Even more egregious cost increases are seen for the Pandora Street landscaping, up by 363 per cent over original estimates.

The new initiatives are no better:

A “new full-time energy co-ordinator position: $127,000.” That position had better be justified by savings which exceed the new costs.

Plus “customer service improvements and inquiry centre: $2.5 million.” Do city staff not already have telephones and have training in how to answer questions from a citizen? Why is this so costly?

Taxpayers deserve to know why costs have risen so much. One shudders to think how much the new bridge will finally cost.

Roel Hurkens

Victoria