BC: Vancouver City Hall Makes $1.5 Million Blunder
Great work by Global BC to uncover a $1.5 million blunder by the City of Vancouver. From their story:
The Charleson, a mixed condo and rental project in downtown Vancouver, has been subsidized by taxpayers without their knowledge or city council’s consent.
The city’s Rental 100 policy offers builders waivers on their construction levies, known as DCLs, if their residential project is entirely rental. Onni’s project included strata condos, so it didn’t qualify.
But Global News obtained two city reports that show Onni got a big break. Their Richards Street development was granted a $1.5-million waiver, the second-largest in the program’s history.
“To hear that there was a waiver given in a building that isn’t actually a Rental 100 is disappointing to say the least,” Vancouver city councillor George Affleck said.
When asked by Global News, city manager Sadhu Johnston admitted the city mishandled the money.
Yes, a city staffer screwed up and gave a builder a $1.5 million tax break. Actually not just one city staffer. Several of them, according to CKNW.
Onni says they’ll pay the money back (and probably should as they have other projects they are going to need City approval for). But it calls into question the basic competence of the people running City Hall. It’s worth remembering that the number of Vancouver staff making $100,000 a year or more DOUBLED this year (24 Hours Vancouver).
What a waste of money.
Anyway, it reminds us of a recent Teddy Waste Award nominee – the City of Winnipeg. From our award file:
Property Swap – Sorta (Nominee)
City of Winnipeg
Nominated for: Building a fire station on property the city doesn’t own
Production Cost: Ask the Expropriators
It takes a special kind of talent to decide to build a fire hall on someone else’s land; the
kind of skillset found in abundance at the City of Winnipeg. A scathing audit slammed
the city, for building a fire hall on a developer’s land without first securing the land.
While bureaucrats had cobbled together a land swap deal they didn’t secure city
council’s authorization first.
Now, the fire hall sits on land owned by a private property developer, and taxpayers are
facing an undetermined expropriation bill.