Volume 94, Issue 36

Thursday, November 2, 2000


Web site threatens elections

USC votes down Rubinoff apology

More boozing leads to more losing?

"Stupid" games run rampant at Western

No evolution raises curriculum concerns

Campus Briefs

London ordered to upgrade facilities

Corroded Disorder

London ordered to upgrade facilities

By Joel Brown
Gazette Staff

The tragic death of a young city worker four years ago has forced the City of London to make $4 million in upgrades to their repair facilities and may alter the city budget to be released early next year.

An Ontario Court justice ruled earlier this spring the municipality must upgrade all city-owned garages and areas where city vehicles are repaired, which do not meet Ontario's building code.

According to London Board of Control member Russ Monteith, an estimated $2.5 million, which was not included in the initial budget plan, will now be needed to upgrade the city's repair facilities.

"We'll need to include it in the upcoming budget," Monteith explained. "We're not sure yet if we'll need to simply cut expenditures or push some expenditures into the following year's budget."

The need for the upgrades stems from an incident in which 20-year-old Tim Hickman died from burns in March of 1996 at Silverwood Arena while he was attempting to refill a Zamboni's gas tank. A water pilot heater ignited gas fumes, resulting in Hickman's death 10 days later.

The London Transit Commission estimates it will need to make $2 million worth of repairs to meet Ontario's codes, while the London Fire Department has budgeted approximately $1 million for their upgrades, representatives for each group said.

Larry Ducharme, the LTC general manager, said his department may have to incur more costs in addition to the upgrade of its repair facilities.

"I think in our particular case, it'll affect us more because we have an older facility," he said. "Once we need to increase our expenditures to upgrade these [repair] facilities to meet the building requirements, we'll be put into a position where we'll have to [upgrade all aspects of the building]."

London's fire prevention chief, Steve Gay, said he is supportive of the movement to make the City's facilities safer. "It's a code issue. Under government regulations and codes this has become a necessity. In terms of having to meet those codes, that's what we do. I don't have any problem with that at all," he said.

Gay said he was not sure where the money will come from, since the Fire Department has already maximized its budget.

The Board of Control received a report yesterday that specifically outlines all the upgrades that will be necessary, Monteith said.

Ducharme said the ruling affects all municipalities and may cause a highly increased need to upgrade buildings province-wide.

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