Town did not rush settlement decision, mayor

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Small responds to concerns raised by council candidate

Mayor Robert Small says Amherst town council did not rush into its decision to accept an insurance settlement offer on the police department's former home on Victoria Street.

AMHERST – Amherst did not rush into accepting a settlement offer on the Amherst Police Department’s office damaged by a major downtown fire several weeks ago, says mayor Robert Small.

“The decision was based on careful evaluation and negotiation by town staff,” Small said. “Staff presented council with a recommendation that considered all the factors which included current value, project value after remediation, the cost of remediation and the current and future use for the property – including policing services. Council weighed the pros and cons and unanimously agreed with the staff recommendation that the best deal for the taxpayers was accepting the $550,000 settlement and earmarking it for future policing needs.”

On Thursday, council candidate and former town manager Ed Childs charged the town is focused on spending money on a new town hall while the needs of the police remain “unmet and second rate” following the fire.

Childs suggested the town rushed to accept the settlement offer because it has already decided to move the police the Confederation Memorial Building on Ratchford Street and didn’t want a renovated building.

The mayor said council is very supportive of the police department’s operational needs.

“In the coming weeks and months council will make a decision the next steps forward to meet the operational needs of the police department and balance out with fiscal responsibility for overall town operations,” the mayor said.

Small said staff were careful with their evaluation of the offer from the insurer of the downtown property that was evacuated soon after the fire began in the neighbouring Black and Windsor Block buildings.

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Amherst Police Department

Geographic location: Ratchford Street

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  • Jack On The Rocks
    September 14, 2012 - 13:38

    I wonder if the town took into consideration the extra costs when tearing down the Police Station,that they have a pub next door that may need some repairs to their wall when demolishion is done?I bet not....

    • Mediaboy
      September 15, 2012 - 07:05

      It appears as if former town manager Ed Childs has struck a nerve with his comments concerning the town's acceptance of an insurance settlement for the police station. There's a lot of anger and suspicion out there being directed at Mayor Small and his council over business disruptions and the eviction of Tantramar Theatre from the Dominion Public Building, and this latest allegation adds more fuel to the fire, no pun intended. Every government and politician has a shelf life, and Mayor Small and most of the current councillors have just about reached theirs. Their best-before date is Oct. 20.