Former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts welcomes members of the media to the newly completed city hall in 2014.

Former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts welcomes members of the media to the newly completed city hall in 2014.

Lawsuits mount over Surrey City Hall project

PCL Constructors says it cost $361,720 to make sure the unfinished building was ready for Mayor's Charity Gala in October 2013.

Lawsuits are continuing to fly over the construction of Surrey City Hall in Whalley, a project that went beyond both deadline and over budget.

For more than a year, lawsuits have been mounting against the City of Surrey and general contractor PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc. (PCL).

The 180,000-sq.-ft. city hall was to be complete by September 2013, but ran late by five months.

It was then that liens on the property began to build.

They were swiftly followed by lawsuits from the trades working on the project.

In December 2014, PCL filed a Notice of Civil Claim in Supreme Court  claiming it is owed $8.7 million above the $125 million the company has already been paid.

(The city has long-maintained it was a $97 million project).

Of the money it says it’s owed, PCL claims it cost $361,720 to make the unfinished city hall ready for the October, 2013 Mayor’s Charity Gala event.

In this month’s response to the PCL claim, the city denies nearly all of the assertions made.

In fact, none of the claims on either side have been proved in court.

PCL is one in a long list of companies suing over the construction of city hall.

Zoran Vukelic, owner of Wolf Masonry Ltd., told The Leader last January the project was a “nightmare for every party involved.”

Ron Fettback, vice-president of operations for Western  Pacific Enterprises (WPE), said in January his company, and others, have been treated poorly by the city.

Fettback says he was made responsible for retrofitting the unfinished city hall so it could be used for the mayor’s annual fundraising ball which took place Oct. 18, 2013.

He said the work cost him $90,000.

“It’s completely unacceptable to do that,” Fettback said at the time. “If we’re having a dispute, let’s resolve it in a fair and reasonable manner.”

The issue is expected to wind its way through the courts for some time.