Contractor’s introductory letters must name a designated contact person to be the residential representative
It had come to my attention through the Queensview Terrace North (QTN) Sewer Rehabilitation project that residents where not clear on where they should direct issues relating to construction activities, such as claims for alleged personal property damage or complaints regarding noise/inconvenience. It was clear to me that we needed to review the system and make it more user friendly for residents raising concerns during this construction project.
Back in October 2021 I put forward an inquiry at City Council asking City staff to review the City’s Construction Contract Guidelines in relation to when the City retains a contractor to complete a construction project. My inquiry included the following:
• What process/guidelines must a resident follow to submit a claim for possible damages to personal property allegedly caused by construction activities of a contractor retained by the City? If the process/guidelines are different than the normal course of seeking compensation from the City, please describe how and why.
• What process/guidelines must a resident follow to submit a complaint regarding matters related to construction activities of a contractor retained by the City that may not be part of a tangible claim, such as noise and/or inconvenience?
• Can the city stipulate, when drawing up a contract with a firm, that the contractor identify dedicated staff to handle questions from residents related to potential property claims?
• Can staff clarify the role of the City and the Ward Councillor in providing communication to residents regarding City construction projects undertaken by a contractor in their community?
City staff have followed up on my inquiry with detailed responses. I am pleased to announce that as a result of my inquiry the City will add for the 2022 specification review, that the contractor’s introductory letters must name a designated contact person to be the residential representative should a resident need to speak with the contractor regarding potential property claims. This will help eliminate confusion and provide residents with some confidence when faced with construction related issues.
It is important to note that the project manager, who is also listed on all project communication, is always available to assist residents with inquires and connect them with the right contact person with the contracted company, as required.
I had the opportunity to get a tour of the QTN Sewer Rehabilitation project construction area last week. Thank you to Kevin Gibbs, the City Senior Engineer who oversees this project, for continuing to work with my office and the residents to keep us informed on the site’s progress. The QTN project is only about half way through so it is important that a strong line of communications with affected residents continues.
The next step for the QTN stormwater Infrastructure Renewal project will be construction work in the Moncton Road area. My office, in partnership with the Project Manager, will hold an information meeting in the near future.