St. Francis - What does refine mean? oh I know- throw it together

The following is a copy of an email I recently sent to the CAO of Ajax- Brian Skinner and the Director of Finance, Rob Ford.

Hello Mr. Skinner and Mr. Ford I was doing some back reading and came across this shortly after the Economic stimulus was announced but before the 2 week application period April 14 - due May 31st. This excerpt was in a report presented to GGC Jan 22, 2009. Please note the last sentence bolded by me.

Discussion:

Typically Federal funding includes a list of eligibility requirements and evaluation criteria. The attached list of potential projects will be evaluated further when initiatives are announced to identify projects that best meet the criteria and are most likely to be successful in obtaining funding. The list does not include projects that are funded by Development Charges as those types of projects have been ineligible for previous funding programs. Also, it should be noted that the cost estimates shown are based on preliminary information and will need to be further refined at such time as applications are made for funding.

Then recently we see in the news advertiser the following.

Rob Ford, the Town’s director of finance, says the $2.55-million tab was a high-level estimate done in the space of two weeks to meet the stimulus funding deadlines and it was done without the necessary due diligence to figure out exactly how much the project would cost in order to meet the stimulus funding deadlines.

How do you explain this? This is an major project and I would like to know what was meant by refined and then left to be thrown together in 2 weeks. What was occurring on the St. Francis file between this time and the application ? To me this was an all hands on deck priority and other stuff could have been put aside to put resources where it was needed, getting proper numbers.

I am asking the questions my Mayor and Councillors should have.

Thanks and regards,

 

Karem Allen

_________________

I copied the Mayor Steve Parish, Renrick Ashby my current Ward 2 councillor , Scott Crawford , my current Regional Councillor

2 Responses to “St. Francis - What does refine mean? oh I know- throw it together”

  1. admin Says:

    Here is the response I received from Mr. Skinner , Town of Ajax CAO (All Senior Directors would report into him)

    ____________________

    Dear Ms. Allen:

    Thank you for your recent correspondence. With respect to the report that you referenced in your e-mail (GGC.Jan. 22, 2009), I refer you to a sentence in the report prior to the one you bolded in your e-mail which reads \”The attached list of potential projects will be evaluated further when initiatives are announced to identify projects that best meet the criteria and are most likely to be successful in obtaining funding.\” Without the pre-requisite announcement and identified criteria for possible funding, it was not prudent on our part to undertake any expenditures until such time as we knew what might or might not be eligible for funding. This initial list identifies 31 possible projects valued at more than 33 million dollars.

    Please be advised that between the time of reporting to General Government Committee and the announcement, staff exhausted all avenues in an effort to obtain advance notice and information on the anticipated criteria of the funding program.

    In the end, our original estimates were accurate based on the original scope of the project. Upon receipt of the confirmation of funding, further consultation occurred with our user groups and a decision was subsequently made by Council to expand the scope of the project to better meet the needs and requirements of our users and community groups. Naturally, this change in scope resulted in an increase in the overall cost of the project.

    Thank you for taking the time to write.

    Regards,

    Brian Skinner

    ______________

    So what do you think about the response I received ?

  2. admin Says:

    The FOI information is complete, I requested a copy of the application for the Church in regards to the stimulus funding.

    $8.50 cents it costs. At least that part is reasonable.

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