Steel Suit Sinks

An arbitrator has ruled that the town council of Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia, has lost its bid to recover losses over allegedly damaged steel in the construction of the $16 million Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre four years ago.

The 83-page ruling, which hasn’t yet been formally reviewed and accepted by council, indicates the town will be responsible for the venue’s repair costs, its own legal fees and a portion of steel supplier Eastern Canadian Structures’ legal fees, according to the Canadian Press.

Legal fees to be covered haven’t been determined yet but Port Hawkesbury Mayor Billy Joe MacLean said the fees could top $400,000.

The town has already paid its own legal bills, which MacLean said were about $300,000.

During construction, some of the steel in the arena was being painted and was found to be rusting. Repair costs, including sandblasting, coating with a primer and repainting, were estimated at about $250,000.
After the town took the supplier to court to recoup the cost, a judge suggested arbitration.