Councillor Lloyd Ferguson was successful in getting his council colleagues to support delaying repairs on guard rails at Tim Horton’s Field but several councillors made it clear favor getting on with the work regardless of who ends up paying. Council will receive a confidential report for legal staff on September 23rd on what options if any, they have; but it was clear from comments at today’s GIC meeting that several councillors think the horse has left the barn. Mayor Fred Eisenberger observed that the city had given the stadium a final signoff after years of legal wrangling on a number of deficiencies, many of which were covered by warranty or were rectified as part of legal negotiations. Councillor Sam Merulla said he would go along with the delay but expected council to make a decision on September 23 to get the work done—a sentiment echoed by Coun.Maria Pearson.
A staff report said the issue was critical from a safety standpoint. “As the repair of the end panels is a worsening safety concern that must be remedied to avoid any potential personal injuries, staff recommends that Council without delay … direct staff to undertake the proposed/recommended scope of work to the perimeter end guards that surround the upper bowl of the east and the west stands, along with the north and south upper-lower end guards of the stadium.”
Fergus argues that with the stadium closed until next year that there was no urgency to conduct the repairs immediately.
The stadium railing issue was only the latest in a string of deficiencies that came to light even before the stadium opened, ranging from plumbing and electrical problems, to the 2016 incident where one of a dozen speakers on the east stands fell 30 metres, crashing into the seats below while a cleaning crew was working in the stadium. It rolled 26 rows to the lower level of the stands.