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Lansdowne questions, Lansdowne answers

Posted by Alistair Steele

For the record, here are the city's official responses to a couple questions we asked earlier this week on the Lansdowne file.

First, how did the estimated revenue from naming rights at Lansdowne leap from $15.7-million to $50.2-million in the space of seven months?

"The naming rights projected revenue has increased from earlier estimates as a result of the recommendations obtained by OSEG from their third party consultant, which is highly respected in their field and have expertise in this area. The naming rights values were increased based mainly on the fact that the overall components of the project consisted of not only the stadium and arena but also the mixed-use retail area (excluding the urban park and public space). Under this scenario sponsors would derive increased sponsorship and branding value versus earlier estimates based only on the stadium and arena. The consultants undertook extensive research and reviewed comparable venues across North America with an emphasis on Canada.

The revised naming rights values also takes into consideration the value of the CFL team, the additional value from the retail area, proposed activities in the stadium and arena, and the addition of a Soccer Team at Lansdowne.

It is important to remember that the figure represents the estimated total revenue over the 30 year duration of the partnership - this amounts slightly more that $1 million per year, inflated over the 30 years."

So who's this consultant of OSEG's who arrived at this conclusion?

"The naming rights projected revenue has increased from earlier estimates as a result of the recommendations obtained by OSEG from their third party consultant, which is highly respected in their field and have expertise in this area. OSEG is currently in the process of selecting a consulting firm to execute the next phase of the naming rights and sponsorship program. Given that OSEG is currently tendering this next piece of work they do not want to bias the process by releasing the name of the previous consultant at this time."

City manager Kent Kirkpatrick said Wednesday he's spoken with the consultant in question, and is satisfied with the accuracy of the new, much larger figure. I still haven't managed to discover the identity of that mysterious individual. Perhaps a curious councillor will have better luck when Minto CEO Roger Greenberg faces the city's Finance and Economic Development Committee on Tuesday. Perhaps they won't. Either way, they'll be asked to vote to proceed with the Lansdowne deal. 

RVCA responds

Posted by Alistair Steele

Cast as the possible villain in the Highway 174 sinkhole saga Friday, the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority is fighting back with this tersely-worded e-mail from the agency's Director of Planning, Don Maciver. In brief:

  • The City wanted to begin work on the deteriorating storm sewer in April, and wrap up by the end of July.
  • The City never followed up when the RVCA informed it those dates conflicted with the Spring fish spawning period, an annual construction blackout well known within the industry. 
  • The City never expressed any urgency. If it had for example informed the RVCA that the pipe was in imminent danger of collapse, the RVCA would have allowed the work to proceed without hesitation.
  • The contractor hired by the City didn't get started until the end of August, a full two months after the end of the spawning season.

Here's the e-mail to the mayor and Cumberland councillor Stephen Blais. (Another councillor, Steve Desroches, is cc'd because he sits on the RVCA's board of directors.)

From: Don Maciver <>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2012 23:28:44 -0400
To: <>
Cc: Steve Desroches <>, <>, Dell Hallett <>
Subject: FW: RV8-03/12   Highway 174 closure

With respect to the Hwy 174 closure, it is most regrettable how the role of the RVCA has been portrayed in many local media outlets this evening.  Appended below are the facts as I see them in my role as a Program Director at RVCA.  Attached also is the application form completed by the City, the RVCA letter of permission issued under Ontario Regulation 174/06 and a CA map.  The Spring in water works restriction period has been in effect for as long as I can remember; most major development proponents are well familiar with it but, as noted below, accommodations can be made in justifiable emergency situations.  Let me emphasize that we are always available for consultation and discussion.  Please do not hesitate to give me or my General Manager, Dell Hallett a call in the event that you wish to discuss this matter further.
·         An application was received by RVCA Feb 22, 2012
·         Permission was requested to reline a 3600 mm storm sewer for a distance of approximately 105m.;  Novatech was the consulting engineer.  The tributary affected is named West Bilberry Creek in our GIS (so the sub-watershed is not inconsequential in size).                                                              
·         The work dates provided on the application form were April 16, 2012 to July 31st, 2012
·         There was no indication of any emergency associated with the works and no suggestion in the file (or to our Inspector) that any special dispensation was required. 
·         RVCA handled the file as a routine submission for maintenance;  a  letter of permission with relatively standard conditions was issued April 18, 2012.
·         The City confirmed the details of the project and accepted the conditions April 26, 2012 under signature of Steven Courtland. 
·         There was no further contact with the City after this date that I have been told of.                                                                                                                       
·         According to a City e mail (Sept 7 by Ghadban) drawings were complete June 1, 2012; tender package completed June 30  & awarded July 18 (to Louis Bray Construction according to media).
·         As for any assertions that fish spawning held up works,  the collapse occurred  Tuesday the 4th  of Sept. some 65 days after the opening of the in water works construction period. In such matters the CA utilizes "construction windows" based on advice from MNR ; flexibility is available if special or emergency circumstances arise. 

Don Maciver MCIP RPP
Director of Planning
Planning Advisory & Regulatory Services Group
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
Box 599, 3889 Rideau Valley Dr.
Voice: (613) 692-3571 x1105
Mobile: (613) 355-0389
Web: <>

Here's the City's original application: 12 Youville and 174 relining application.pdf

And here's the RVCA's letter of permission:12 Youville and 174 relining Apr permission.pdf


Tadpoles latest culprits in sinkhole saga

Posted by Alistair Steele

Following Tuesday's storm sewer collapse and the chaos that ensued, Cumberland councillor Stephen Blais decided to ask city staff for a timeline of everything that happened, following that inspection last summer when engineers noticed the pipe had deteriorated and needed to be re-lined. Here's what he got today:

From: Ghadban, Ziad
Sent: Friday, September 07, 2012 02:23 PM
To: Blais, Stephen
Subject: OR174 Storm Drainage Pipe Relining

Good Afternoon Councillor Blais,

The following is the project history as requested:

17 August 2011:  Project was scoped to Design and Construction Municipal East

8 Sept 2011:  PO was issued to Novatech Engineering to commence the design which included the lining of the storm drainage pipe.  Size of lining was not known.

26 Sept 2011:  Finalized scope to determine the minimum final diameter for the storm drainage pipe after lining.

Beginning of October commenced functional design

Dec 2011 complete functional design

15 Feb 2012: Submitted application for permit to the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) - determined that no work could occur on this project from March 15 to July 1st in order to protect local fish populations during spawning

16 Feb 2012: Preliminary design completed for 174 lining and headwall

7 May 2012: Final geotechnical  memo for construction information received

18 May 2012: final permit received from the RVCA - on the permit it stated "no work could occur on this project from March 15 to July 1st in order to protect local fish populations during spawning"

1 June 2012: Design Drawings Complete for 174 lining and headwall

30 June 2012:  Tender package complete

18 July 2012: tender closes and award process commences

23 August 2012: preconstruction meeting, PO created for Louis Bray and Commence Work Order Issued

27 August 2012: contractor started to mobilize on site


Ziad A. Ghadban, P. Eng.


Design and Construction - Municipal (East)

Infrastructure Services Department

100 Constellation Crescent, 6th Floor West

Ottawa, Ontario  K2G 6J8

Tel. No.:  (613) 580-2424, ext. 22663

Fax No.:   (613) 560-6064


Blais says if the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority hadn't forbidden that work from commencing before July 1, the job would have been higher on the priority list and the pipe could have been re-lined much sooner. Theoretically, that would have prevented the collapse, the sink hole, and the traffic nightmare that ensued. In other words, if it weren't for a few tadpoles, east-end residents might not be sitting in gridlock tight now.