How much more money, you ask? Only about $69,100 [PDF]. Of course, that’s $69,100 on top of $258,200.16 already paid out to the IBI Group, the independent consulting firm behind the Metro Transit Five-Year Strategic Operations Plan [PDF]. That’s 26.76% of the value of the original contact.
The report, from the desk of Halifax’s Chief Administrative Officer Dan English, states that it “originates from the need for additional projects that have arisen from work completed on the Metro Transit Five-Year Strategic Operations Plan.” Or, the study determined that more study was necessary.
Which happens. Anyway, the report goes on to recommend that council approve the request for more funding, and also asks that council authorize that same IBI Group to conduct the study.
Which also makes sense. If the IBI Group conducted a supposedly comprehensive study of Halifax’s transit system, why not use that same contractor to do more in-depth and focused study?
What’s weird is the timing. Perhaps I’m a touch cynical after sitting through the recent council sessions where the transit plan was discussed; that wonderful circus of councilors being truly concerned about which bus routes will be affected (what about my riding?), Blumenthal yammering on about the olds (in his district), and all the other wonderful bullshit that comprises municipal affairs.
Or perhaps it’s the bad taste left in the mouth when staffers announce that the city is facing a $30 million deficit next year from one mouth, and ask for more money out of another. It hits too close to home. It’s like every conversation I’ve had with my father.
Maybe it’s the fact that all study and no action makes Jack a dull municipality. Either way, more study is what we’re getting. Enjoy walking this winter.
Oh, and by the way, everyone got raises. Merry Christmas.
photo by Lawrence Plug