Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Old Theatre To Be Demolished

Owner To Pay For Demolition

The owners of the old theatre on Chapel Street will be getting a bill from the city for $231,000 to cover the cost of having their building demolished.

The building, with partially collapsed roof, was declared a public safety hazard and has been behind barriers for about one month now. It has resulted in a portion of Skinner Street being closed and one lane of Chapel Street has also been blocked off near the building.

The decision to not grant the tender to the lowest bidder seems to be one of those 'only in Nanaimo' situations. The lowest bidder, Don Saywell Developments Ltd. (a known local company) was in the amount of $181,111 while the winning bid from Milner Group Ventures Inc. was in the amount of $231,000, making them $50,000 higher.

Lowest Bid Not Accepted

How bid the higher bid win the tender you may ask? Well it seems that the lowest bidder rather than providing a surety in the form of a bid bond, supplied the city with a certified cheque instead. If you are wondering why that disqualified the lowest bid, as I said "only in Nanaimo".

Mr. Swabey, the newly appointed city manager stumbled through an explanation that really didn't have a whole lot of common sense as the basis and said our famed 'legal advice' told us we had to give the bid to the next highest bid.

I wonder if the owners lawyer will now make a case for not paying the full amount of the tender awarded and Nanaimo taxpayers will be on the hook for the other $50,000.

"Only In Nanaimo, you say?".



  1. It's just one more example of the sort of shady dealing, so common, and normal for City Hall and its senior staff.
    Accountability is not on the table, the earth is flat, Santa Clause lives at the north pole, the flow of water is not slowed when it enters a lake, the taxpayer don't mind having their tax dollars squandered, the city senior staff are smart, intelligent people, whose only concern is the safety of the people.

  2. A quick viewing of the property at 91 Chapel Street on the City's web site by using CityMap shows that the property has had tax exemptions in each of the last two years totaling $433,000 of which $10,000 was for improvements valued at a total of $10,000. What is going on? I don't believe that this place was ever used as a church, so what's the deal?

  3. Tax exemptions totalling $433,000 .... is that right? Yes, it was last used as a church operated by a congregation from Surrey I believe.


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